‘American Idol’ winner Iam Tongi speaks out for first time after ‘rigged’ backlash

Iam Tongi spoke out Monday about his “American Idol” victory after being topped the youngest male to ever win the competitors and the way he honored his late father throughout his time on the present.

“It’s amazing,” Tongi, 18, told TV Insider. “I was so happy everyone voted. Thank you to everyone. Now that I’m the ‘Idol’ of the 21st season, it’s crazy.”

Tongi’s remarks got here after a number of viewers claimed your complete competitors was “rigged” in the highschool senior’s favor and his win was on account of a “sympathy vote.”

One nay-sayer tweeted that whereas Tongi “had the best sob story,” the competitors was about musical expertise.

Since his preliminary audition for “Idol” three months in the past, the Hawaiian native’s video has racked up 16 million views making it the highest video on the present’s YouTube web page.

During his time on the present, the Hawaii native instructed judges Katy Perry, 38, Lionel Richie, 73, and Luke Bryan, 46, that he misplaced his father just a few months previous to his audition on account of Stage 4 kidney illness.

As the present progressed, Tongi continued to make use of his late father’s guitar throughout each efficiency till it broke mid-season.

“I always wanted to play my dad’s guitar,” said Tongi. “But when it broke the first time, that was hard.”

According to the singer, his mom in addition to one other “Idol” contestant named Oliver Steele, who made it to the present’s Top 8 and developed an in depth bond with Tongi, instructed him that “it wasn’t about the guitar but the voice.”

“I just started to believe my dad was going to be with me no matter what whether I used it or not,” continued Tongi. “The guitar will always remain a treasure.”

Tongi stopped the present throughout the finale Sunday with two beautiful renditions of Keith Urban’s “Making Memories of Us” — which introduced the decide to tears — and James Blunt’s “Monsters,” which he sang with the British pop star.

According to the singer, his whole expertise on the present taught him that “it’s not a bad thing to talk about your problems and what you go through.”

So the place will Tongi go from right here?

The “Idol” winner stated that he plans on increasing his musical horizons.

“I don’t want to limit myself to one genre of music because I love all music,” Tongi stated to the outlet. “I just want to have fun with it.”

Despite the hate, different viewers have been excited for the younger grownup.

“Congratulations to Hawai’i’s own American Idol, Iam Tongi,” tweeted Hawaii’s Gov. Josh Green with a photograph of the star.

“Congratulations @wtongi! It was a great season of #AmericanIdol, excited to hear more of your music,” tweeted one fan.

“American Idol got it right. Congratulations Iam Tongi,” declared a 3rd fan.


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