“American Idol” winner Iam Tongi says he enjoys the “drama” of “fraudulent” accusations surrounding his Season 21 victory.
“A lot of people say, ‘[Runner-up] Colin Stough was robbed or whatever. And I just love it,” the Daily Mail said in an interview published Thursday.
The 18-year-old singer said her late father Rodney Tongi, who died in 2021, is preparing him for any public scrutiny should his music rise.
“My dad always told me your music wasn’t for everyone. “There will be people who won’t like it, and that’s okay, that’s normal.”
“Everyone gets their own opinion. Everyone will think what you think. So no problem.”
I told him that he often showers kindness on his haters as a coping mechanism.
“I just like it” [the comments]no matter what they say, because you know, [I gotta] Let there be such things” he shared.
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“I’m guilty of liking it. But look, [my] music is not for everyone. And I have to learn that the hard way.”
On Sunday, Iam, of Tongan and Samoan descent, became the first Hawaiian to win the “American Idol” award since the competition reality show debuted in the summer of 2002.
A loud portion of the audience claimed that the entire contest was “cheated” in favor of the high school senior, and that his win was thanks to a “vote of sympathy”.
Iam told judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan that he lost his father to stage 4 kidney disease a few months before the audition. He used his father’s guitar in every performance until it broke down mid-season.
An online critic, I “had the best hiccup story” competition should be talent-centered.
Another polarizing aspect of “American Idol” Season 21 was Perry’s jury performance. While many viewers thought the criticism was harsh, Iam told the Daily Mail that he enjoyed his interactions with the pop superstar.
“[All the judges] They’re a lot of fun and we had a lot of fun with them while I was on ‘Idol’,” he said, adding that he thinks Perry, 38, should stay where he is.
“Support [Katy] gives and love [she] those given to the contestants would be missed. i miss katy [if she left]”
The “Firework” singer reportedly wanted to step down from the “Idol” jury because she felt she was misrepresented by the show.
According to the Daily Mail, Perry believes he’s been “thrown under the bus” repeatedly by the producers he thinks are editing the show to make him look like a “bad judge.”