Season after season, “American Idol” gives viewers new delights and surprises, and the show’s 21st season is no exception, as singers from all over the country flocked to the auditions to showcase how they can be the next singing sensation.
“American Idol” was responsible for catapulting artists to greater heights. Take, for example, previous winners like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia Barrino, Candice Glover, David Cook and Jordin Sparks, among many others, whose lives changed after winning or simply appearing in the cutthroat singing competition.
On many occasions, many auditionees tend to get through the auditions with their powerful belts, vocal exhibitions, big unique voices, and their promise alone. In the case of 18-year-old Iam Tongi, all he had was his guitar, warm and comforting voice, and fond memories of his late father.
Hailing from Hawaii, Tongi wanted to move to a cheaper state and have a start on his career. When he was asked about his parents, specifically his father, Tongi got emotional, as it seemed like the judges had tugged on a very vulnerable spot on the auditionee.
Turns out, Tongi’s late father, Rodney, passed away months before his “American Idol” audition because of stage 4 Kidney disease. Struggling to keep himself composed, Tongi revealed that he would be singing James Blunt’s “Monsters,” a song he dedicated to his late father.
After taking a few moments and deep breaths with Katy Perry, Tongi struck his guitar and sang with his deep and comforting voice.
“I’m not your son, you’re not my father. We’re just two grown men saying goodbye. No need to forgive, no need to forget. I know your mistakes, and you know mine,” he sang as Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan teared up.
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Even Perry is visibly holding back her tears, but Bryan and Richie did not shy away from getting emotional hearing Tongi’s emotional performance. At the very last lyric, Tongi could not help but be overcome with emotions.
“I was not worried about whether you were going to make it through the song. I was worried about whether we were going to make it through the song. Your daddy’s very proud … Let me just tell you something. The story is one thing. But the delivery of your story was phenomenal. Young man, you take this into the world, and you’re going to fracture some souls,” Richie told him as he praised how “phenomenal” his storytelling was through the song.
As for Bryan, he related to Tongi’s heartbreak after his nephew lost his father and came to live with him.
“You just did everything perfectly, and I love ya. I want to see you have fun in this whole thing, man. It’s just awesome. It’s awesome what you just did to me, and you’re 18 years old,” he told Tongi.
Perry praised Bryan for his song choice, noting that because of his delivery, he made two grown men cry, all while describing his performance to be “magnificent.”
In a unanimous decision, Tongi was sent to Hollywood week as he received three yeses across the judge’s bench.
People on YouTube commented on Tongi’s very passionate performance.
“I’m a grown man and this brought me to tears. What a legacy you’ve created in your dad’s name. To think that we all know the name Rodney because of the talent he nurtured in you,” one wrote.
“I get chills EVERY time i hear HIM sing this song. I cry everytime too. I love the way he sing this song!! <3” another commented.
What can you say about Iam Tongi’s performance? Do you think he deserves to win the competition? What can you say about his story? Let us know, and pass this on to someone who you think would appreciate it!
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