‘American Idol’ Fans Disappointed Over Iam Tongi’s Win Complain It Was ‘Rigged’

May 24, 2023 by apost team

"American Idol" was responsible for catapulting artists to greater heights. Take, for example, previous winners like Kelly ClarksonCarrie UnderwoodFantasia BarrinoCandice GloverDavid Cook and Jordin Sparks, among others, whose lives changed after winning the cutthroat singing competition. 

On May 21, 2023, 18-year-old Hawaiian crooner Iam Tongi was crowned as the winner, making him the 21st American Idol winner. His huge win at the competition was a breath of fresh air as he broke the streak of the show's winners being in the country music genre. 

As usual, not everyone was amused with the results, like every other competitive game. For them, Tongi did not deserve to win. Some even claimed that "American Idol" was "rigged," as fans expressed their dismay over Tongi's huge landslide victory. 

Ever since the auditions round, Tongi has made his mark on the judges. All he had was his guitar, warm and comforting voice, and fond memories of his late father. 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 four kidney disease. Struggling to keep himself composed, Tongi revealed that he would be singing a special song for a special person in his life. 

Eventually, Tongi bested the hundreds of auditionees in the competition as he took home the trophy and the title. Keep on reading to know more about Tongi's journey and why people are dismayed over the results. 

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video

In his audition performance, Tongi performed Blunt's "Monsters," a song he dedicated to his late father, with whom he holds a dear relationship. Ever since Tongi has made the judges weep. 

After his performance, judges Lionel RichieKaty Perry, and Luke Bryan were in tears – moved by how powerful and emotive his number was. 

"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," Richie added.

At the grand finals of the show, Tongi performed the same song, but now with special support from Blunt. During the powerful and vulnerable performance, Tongi couldn't help but be overwhelmed by tears and emotions. 

Even before he was crowned as the next American Idol, the judges seemed to have known that he was special. In an episode, Perry claimed that Tongi would win. 

"I believe it's written in the stars. I don't believe in coincidences. I know that you're Iam, but when I see your name, I see 'I am the next American Idol.'" she told Tongi at the time. 

Aside from "Monsters," Tongi also sang Keith Urban's "Making Memories of Us," Koloke Kai's "Cool Down," and his own original song "I'll Be Seeing You," an original song he dedicated to his late father. 

Meanwhile, Megan Danielle and Colin Stough, both country music singers, were hailed as the runners-up of the season. Should any of them win, the streak of country music singers would continue.


Predictions that Tongi would win as early as the Top 6 have been circulating online, with publications noting that he is an early-front runner. Eventually, the predictions came true, and Tongi won. The judges were also pleased with the results, given that they've expressed their adoration for Tongi since Day 1. 

However, not many "American Idol" fans can see that. They took their disappointment and dismay over to Twitter in protest.

"American idol is rigged. Colin Stough was the best one out there. Big Hawaiian dude that has the best sob story is going to win. American Idol I thought it was about talent," a user tweeted.

Some even claimed that Tongi's win was a "sympathy" one because of his heartbreaking life story. 

"Obviously the sympathy vote fix is in. The least talented guy has made it to the finals. You are not the person I thought you were," another noted

"so Ryan I thought #AmericanIdol was a singing contest? Any reason why the obviously better singer did not win? Curious...just asking Thank you," one asked

"Iam was really good but so was Colin. If you picked the one who sang the best it would have been Colin. Are these shows fixed? Apparently. But the Judges have ran their course and it's time for a change on the panel. These judges aren't exactly experts either," someone suggested

Despite the negative comments about Tongi's win, many were still celebrating the win. Over to YouTube, the love for him was overflowing. 

"I'm so happy for him! His voice stays with you . . . love him. The right person won. I was crying watching him sing Monsters, that was so hard for him. Congrats Iam!!" one congratulated.

"He has the voice of the 60s. Sweet voice. Just love it," another said. 

What can you say about Iam Tongi winning "American Idol"? Do you think he deserves to win the title? Or do you think others should win instead? Let us know, and pass this on to your family, friends, and other "American Idol" fans to know their thoughts!

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