Talent Recap

‘American Idol’ Winner Iam Tongi Apologizes for Wearing Hat During National Anthem

Iam Tongi on Good Morning AmericaABC via Getty Images

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American Idol Season 21 winner Iam Tongi recently performed the national anthem at the 2023 MLB Home Run Derby in Seattle. Tongi later apologized for forgetting to remove his hat while performing the song.


Iam Tongi Wears Hat During National Anthem

Some baseball fans took to Twitter after Tongi’s performance on Monday to share their disappointment that the singer didn’t remove his hat before singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” One user wrote, “Iam Tongi take your damn hat off when singing our national anthem!”

Tongi uploaded a video of his performance on YouTube and apologized for his mistake in the caption. He wrote, “First try at singing the National Anthem. So nervous that it was in front of such a huge crowd. And apologize for being so nervous and forgot to take off the hat.”

The 18-year-old singer also addressed the situation on his Twitter account, writing, “Tens of thousands of people. I walk out and my uncle reminds me to remove my hat before I start singing. I remember. A few seconds later the nerves took in and didn’t remember until it was all done.”


Tongi ended the post by telling fans that he “will try to do better next time.”

SEE ALSO: ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ WINNER IAM TONGI ANNOUNCES SUMMER TOUR DATES

Tongi’s Fans Were Understanding

Tongi’s fans were understanding of his mistake, and they shared how much they enjoyed his rendition of the song in their replies on Twitter. Some said they didn’t even notice that he was wearing a hat because they were so immersed in his performance.


“You did an amazing job, brought tears to my eyes,” wrote one user. “I can see the pride you took in singing the anthem. It took just as much nerve to realize you forgot and acknowledge it as it did to stand up in front of all those people and sing. God bless!”

Tongi was crowned the Season 21 winner of American Idol earlier this year. As part of his time on the show, he released a single called “I’ll Be Seeing You,” available now.

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