Meet Iam Tongi, the Heartfelt Singer in ‘American Idol’s Top 12
Iam Tongi has officially made it into the Top 12 on American Idol Season 21. The 18-year-old, who is originally from Hawaii, won over both the judges and the viewers at home with his heartfelt performances.
American Idol Contestant Iam Tongi Is Originally from Hawaii
As Iam (whose full name is William) shared in his audition, he is originally from Kahuku, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, but he moved to Seattle a few years ago and is currently attending high school in the area. He shared that he and his family left Hawaii because he was “priced out of paradise.”
Iam told local news that “everyone knew everyone” in his hometown, adding, “We used to walk around, chasing wild chickens. … You’d lose your slippers, because you’d go to a family function and someone steals your slippers. So everyone’s walking around barefoot, or (wearing) one slipper and a different slipper.”
Sadly, Iam’s father Rodney passed away just months before his American Idol audition. He was the one who taught Iam about music. For his audition, Iam performed “Monsters” by James Blunt, which was dedicated to his dad. After earning a Golden Ticket, Iam posted a photo beside his father’s grave on Instagram, writing, “I got that golden ticket dad wish you were here.”
Iam tried out for American Idol once before, but he didn’t make it past the initial audition. Now his first performance on the show has racked up millions of views on social media.
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Iam Returned to Hawaii Earlier This Season
Earlier this season, Iam made it through the Showstoppers round and into the Top 26, which meant he got to perform at Disney’s Aulani Resort in his home state of Hawaii. Judge Lionel Richie pointed out that he’s the first contestant from Hawaii to make it to that point of the competition.
For his performance in the Top 26, Iam sang a cover of “Don’t Let Go” by Spawnbreezie. As he explained, “For me, growing up, this is like a classic island song … It reminds me of big childhood memories like walking around the island barefoot with my guitar.”
America’s vote sent Iam into the Top 20, and then into the Top 12 after his performance of “Winner Takes It All” by ABBA. Next, he’ll be vying for a spot in the Top 10.
Until his next performance, you can follow Iam on Instagram and TikTok, or check out his YouTube channel, where he posts performance videos. He even recently teamed up with fellow Idol contestant Oliver Steele on a cover of “Island Style.”
This young man is beyond special and he captured my heart! He’s on his way! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Iam Tongi journey to stardom on American Idol is just God given beautiful heavenly angelic vocals, it’s like iam was sent to us to show that we need to remember and care about loved ones and each other… our hearts are still there people, follow Iam tongis story per American Idol of this young performer, writer, musician, stylist of any genre, brilliant 🎶 🎼. 🎙
Iam is the winner of American Idol! He is amazing!