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Iam Tongi is crowned 2023’s American Idol

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Iam Tongi became the newest American Idol after a nail-biting three-hour finale on Sunday, May 21.

18-year-old Tongi emerged as the winner following a stunning performance of his original song titled “I’ll Be Seeing You.” He was up against Megan Danielle and Colin Stough in the finale, who took second and third place, respectively.

Following the announcement of Tongi’s victory by host Ryan Seacrest, he delighted everyone by singing “Don’t Let Go” while his family, the judges, and the audience joined in the celebration. Tongi had previously moved the judges to tears during his audition when he dedicated the song “Monsters” to his father, who had passed away months before.

During that poignant moment, judge Lionel Richie remarked, “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 is very proud.” Katy Perry also acknowledged the impact of the song choice, stating, “What a fantastic song to pick. You’re making these grown men cry.”

Luke Bryan, expressing his empathy based on personal experience, shared, “I cannot handle your heart breaking about your dad because my nephew lost his dad, and he came to live with me. Just seeing you missing your dad sucks. Gosh man, you’ve got a great voice. You did everything perfectly, and I love you and want to see you have fun.”

Cover Image: American Idol/Instagram

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