American Idol winner Iam Tongi waves at fans as he arrives at Good Morning America – as singer opens up about emotional finale duet with James Blunt
American Idol winner Iam Tongi looked delighted as he waved at fans en-route to Good Morning America in New York City on Monday – before opening up about his emotional finale performance.
The Season 21 winner, 18, who beat Colin Stough, 18 and Megan Danielle, 19 in the final, wore a patterned red and black shirt, white tee and jeans as he greeted his admirers before heading into the studios.
Iam moved fans to tears once again as he duetted with Blunt on his song Monsters – a song which the teenager memorably sang at his first audition in memory of his late father Rodney.
Iam started crying during his emotional performance wiping tears away from his eyes. Judge Katy Perry held a tissue to her face to wipe away her tears.
He said of the heart wrenching moment on Sunday: ‘I was trying to prepare myself for whatever happened
‘I was really excited performing with James Blunt, it was crazy, it’s such a good song and I was telling myself, I’m not going to cry.
Winner: American Idol winner Iam Tongi looked delighted as he waved at fans en-route to Good Morning America in New York City on Monday – before opening up about his emotional finale performance
‘But as he started, I couldn’t help myself, I thought damn, his voice sounds like heartbreak and heartache, I was so glad he sang with me.
He also spoke to People about his plans to spend time with loved ones in the wake of his victory, saying: ‘What I’m gonna do when I celebrate is I’m gonna go home and just spend time with my family.
‘It’s crazy, all my Polynesian people out there just… they’re always supporting, and when they come, they show out,” he said. “They just cheer for everyone. Honestly, they cheer for everyone. They don’t only cheer for me. My brother voted for Zachariah [Smith]!’
The season finale of American Idol experienced a ratings dip amid backlash from fans calling the show ‘rigged’.
The Sun reports 5.7 million viewers tuned into the May 21 season finale, a ratings drop following a steady increase in ratings.
On May 14, 6.3 million people watched the show, while 6.1 million watched the May 7 episode.
The April 30th episode raked in 5.9 million viewers, while both the week prior and season premiere obtained 5.3 million viewers.
Fans accused the show of being rigged when not only Iam won, but also when contestant Wé Ani was eliminated the week before.
Wow: Iam moved fans to tears once again as he duetted with Blunt on his song Monsters – a song which the teenager memorably sang at his first audition in memory of his late father Rodney
Oh no! The season finale of American Idol experienced a ratings dip, as fans of the show accused the singing competition of being ‘rigged’ after Iam Tongi was crowned the winner
The March 12 episode was the lowest-rated episode of the season, with just 3.3 million people tuning in.
Tongi, who was born in Hawaii but is of Tongan and Samoan heritage, was crowned the winner of the 21st season of the hit show after a nationwide vote during a three-hour, star-studded finale on ABC.
He performed Don’t Let Go by Spawnbreezie as his family in the audience waved their hands in the air.
Tongi already has a number of connections in the music industry and had a single ‘Dreams’ released in November 2020.
On the show Tongi was mentored by Australian country star Keith Urban.
Other viewers said they were happy for Iam.
One wrote: ‘Congrats to Iam Tongi the winner of American Idol 2023!’
Another said: ‘Iam Tongi turned American Idol into his Show!’