Talent Recap

‘American Idol’ Finale Recap: Iam Tongi Named Season 21 Winner

ABC/Eric McCandless

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On Sunday night, American Idol returned for the Season 21 finale, as contestant Iam Tongi was named the latest winner. Megan Danielle was the runner-up, and Colin Stough made it to third place during the star-studded finale.


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Iam Tongi Named American Idol Season 21 Winner

Voting was open to viewers during Sunday’s three-hour episode. Part of the way through the night, host Ryan Seacrest announced that the Top 2 according to the votes so far were Iam Tongi and Megan Danielle. That meant that Colin Stough was eliminated.

At the end of the night, Seacrest announced that Iam Tongi was the Season 21 winner. During the episode, Iam had been mentored by Keith Urban and performed Urban’s song “Making Memories of Us.” The performance brought judge Katy Perry to tears.

Iam also performed “Cool Down” by Kolohe Kai and his original single “I’ll Be Seeing You.” He even got to perform an emotional duet with James Blunt on Blunt’s song “Monsters.” Iam performed the song in honor of his late father during his audition.


After he was announced as the winner, Iam delivered a celebratory performance of “Don’t Let Go” by Spawnbreezie.

Megan Danielle Named Runner-Up

Considering that the two most recent American Idol winners have been male country singers, viewers might have expected Colin Stough to at least be in the Top 2. But Megan Danielle ended up taking the spot instead.

Megan delivered some great performances during Sunday’s finale. First up was Keith Urban’s “God Whispered Your Name,” which inspired judge Lionel Riche to say her voice had barbecue sauce. She also performed “Faithfully” by Journey.


Megan even got to perform another duet with Lauren Daigle, who surprised her during her audition. Toward the end of the night, Megan sang her original single “Dream Girl.”

SEE ALSO: RYAN SEACREST GIVES EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR OF ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ 2023 SET

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Sunday’s three-hour finale featured a number of performances from celebrity guests. Notably, Season 2 winner and runner-up Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken took the stage on the 20th anniversary of their own finale.

Members of the season’s Top 12 also got to perform with some famous names. Haven Madison took the stage for a duet with judge Katy Perry, and Wé Ani sang with Jazmine Sullivan. Meanwhile, Lainey Wilson performed with Marybeth Byrd and Warren Peay.

Do you agree with the results of Sunday’s finale? Which singer were you rooting for to win? Let us know in the comments below.

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