Iam Tongi Reflects On Emotional Performance During “Idol” Finale

(Left) American Idol / YouTube / (Right) GMA / Twitter

Iam Tongi Gets The Chance To Sing With James Blunt On Idol Finale

Iam Tongi was named the winner of American Idol‘s 21st season on Sunday (May 21). Moments before his big win, Tongi moved everyone to tears with an emotional performance.

Tongi had the chance to collaborate with James Blunt on his song, “Monsters.” It’s the same song Tongi performed for the judges during his audition.

It was a full-circle moment for Tongi to perform “Monsters” with Blunt during the finale. That alone was emotional for the 18-year-old singer. But the moment carried extra meaning, since Tongi’s father passed away a few months ago.

Blunt wrote “Monsters” about his father’s battle with stage four chronic kidney disease. He told The Yorkshire Post:

My father and I, we love each other and he’s been the most amazing father to me all my life and we know the bond that we have, but if you have a limited amount of time with that person on this Earth, then there’s some other things that I, as a songwriter, feel it would be a good time to say.”


Everyone Was Crying Over Iam Tongi’s Duet With James Blunt

With his father on his mind and the knowledge he was singing with one of his heroes, Tongi was overwhelmed with emotion as he sang “Monsters” with Blunt. He started crying almost immediately. At times, Tongi was unable to sing because of how emotional he was.

Blunt supported him through the performance, and placed his hand on his arm to let him know he could rely on him.

Everyone watching in the audience was left in tears. Katy Perry was sobbing into a tissue. Luke Bryan, guest performer Jelly Roll, and Tongi’s mother were all crying as well.


Iam Tongi Reflects On What Happened During That Emotional Idol Moment

Two days later, Tongi and runner-up Megan Danielle were guests on Good Morning America. Michael Strahan asked Tongi what was going through his mind during his emotional performance with Blunt.

He reflected on the moment, saying:

“Performing with James Blunt, was just crazy. And you know, it’s just such a good song. And I was telling myself when I went out there, ‘I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry.’ And right when he sang…cause his voice…sounds like heartbreak…I was just so glad that he came out and sang with me.”

Tongi continued to speak about how it moves him to know that his music and performances help people who are going through the same heartache he’s experiencing.

Watch Tongi’s full interview about his touching Idol performance below.