After an exciting three-hour finale, Iam Tongi is the newest American Idol!
In the season finale of the singing competition series on Sunday, 18-year-old Tongi took first place after a stunning performance of her original song “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
He faced Megan Danielle and Colin Stough, who placed second and third respectively.
After host Ryan Seacrest crowned Tongi the winner, he sang “Don’t Let Go” as his family, judges, and audience rocked together and celebrated the success.
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Tongi had previously made the judges cry during her audition, where she dedicated the song “Monsters” to her father, who died months before the audition.
As Katy Perry, Judge Lionel Richie said at the time, “I wasn’t worried about whether you could finish the song, I was worried if we could finish the song. Your dad is so proud.” “What a great song to choose. You make these grown men cry.”
“I can’t bear to be upset about your father because my nephew lost his father and came to live with me, and it sucks to see you miss your father. God, you have a great voice. You did everything perfect and I love you. I want to see you and you having fun,” added Luke Bryan.
Earlier this month, Perry, 38, opened up to PEOPLE in a group interview about how fierce the competition was — but Tongi had something special.
“I think the top three are strong, I think Megan Danielle earned her the right to be there and she has a nice new confidence,” he said.
Perry added, “The sound in the room when I play it is undeniable. He is an undeniable character. He has an incredible magic. You can hardly explain it. It’s a factor. It’s like you were born to be born.” do it and it’s undeniable.”