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After a year-long wait, American Idol Season 21 is all set to premiere with new contestants like Iam Tongi. The latest season will feature some of the most soulful voices that will leave the judges awestruck and emotional. Talents from different corners of the country will showcase their talent on the show including Nashville, Louisiana, Las Vegas, and more. So, who is contestant Iam Tongi? Keep reading to find out the details!
American Idol Season 21 Also Held Remote Auditions
Similar to Season 20 which conducted virtual auditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 21 held remote auditions in August and September 2022. The contestants selected in the remote auditions are performing before returning judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry. Also returning to the show is long-time host Ryan Seacrest.
Among these selected few contestants that made it to the in-person audition round is Iam Tongi aka William Guy Tongi. His soulful voice left the judges teary-eyed as he paid tribute to his late father.
Iam Tongi’s Father Passed Away In December 2021
The 18-year-old aspiring singer/songwriter hails from Kahuku, Hawaii. He is also a student at Decatur High School. Iam’s family includes his two sisters, Leilei Tongi and Cassandra Alvina Tongi. He also has a brother named Lerod Tongi. His father passed away in December 2021 and his death was major heartbreak in the young artist’s life.
Iam also revealed that his father was the one who introduced him to music and his unexpected death left him emotionally scarred. The singer is very active on social media and is also a popular face in TikTok with whopping 77.1K followers. He often posts covers of songs on social media and is also a talented guitar and ukulele player.
Lionel Richie Claims Iam Tongi Has His Heart On His Sleeve
American Idol’s official Instagram handle shared a clip of Iam Tongi’s audition with the caption, “Who’s cutting onions?”
Surely enough, the Kahuku native’s audition did bring tears to the judges’ eyes. In the clip, Richie says, “Every once in a while, people will come along, they bring their instant identity to the table. The same is the case with Iam.”
“This kid brings his heart on his sleeve, “he added.
The judges are seen wiping off tears from their faces after Iam Tongi opens up about her father’s death and how he inspired him to pursue music.
Seeing Iam get emotional about his father, Richie claimed, “I can tell he meant a lot to you.”
In his audition, Iam surprises the judges with a heartfelt rendition of James Blunt’s Monsters. Currently, it is unknown if Tongi gets a chance to go ahead in the competition.
Fans excited to watch the latest season of American Idol unfold can tune in to ABC on February 19, 2023, at 8 pm ET or stream the show on Hulu.
Are you excited to see Iam Tongi’s audition on American Idol? Share your thoughts in the comments!