Despite a less than ideal ending to the season, the latest champion of “American Idol” maintains a positive attitude.
Iam Tongi, the first Pacific Islander to win the competition, remains unfazed by the accusations of rigging that arose after Sunday’s victory. In fact, Tongi expressed his enthusiasm for the situation, stating that he “loves it.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the 18-year-old Tongi addressed the controversy surrounding his win, acknowledging that many people believed Colin Stough was unfairly overlooked.
However, Tongi embraces the criticism, stating that he finds it enjoyable. Instead of allowing negative comments to affect him, he responds with a simple “like” to the critical posts on social media. Tongi explains that he believes it is important to allow such things to occur and not let them have a negative impact.
“I am guilty for liking it,” he admitted. “But look, [my] music’s not for everyone. And I have to learn that the hard way.”
He inherited his optimistic outlook from his late father, Rodney, who passed away in 2021 before “Idol” auditions began.
“My dad always told me that your music’s not meant for everyone. There’s going to be people that are not going to like it and that’s OK, that’s normal,” he added. “Everyone gets their own opinion. Everyone gets to think what they think. So, it’s fine.”
The Post has reached out to Tongi for comment.
Amid the online vitriol, he maintains there’s no bad blood between him and the runners-up.
“I love Colin, man, he’s such a kind guy. I’m going to see him again, we are going to jam out again and have fun,” he said.
In fact, it makes Tongi “happy” that viewers enjoy different genres of music, he said, and he admires fans’ enthusiasm for Stough’s talent.
“They love Colin that much [that they say], ‘He should have won,’” Tongi said. “And that makes me happy, to be honest.”
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However, Tongi has no intention of actively pursuing fans. Instead, he expresses gratitude for his existing fanbase and the supportive community around him. He plans to stay true to himself, pursue his passions, have fun, and simply let things unfold naturally.
After his momentous victory, Tongi described the experience as “amazing” and expressed his appreciation to the voters for the incredible journey they embarked on together.
The judging panel for this season consisted of Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry, with the latter facing significant backlash and controversy. According to an anonymous source cited by the Daily Mail, the “California Gurls” singer reportedly contemplated leaving the show due to feeling betrayed by the producers.
Nonetheless, Tongi, who enjoyed his time with the reality television judges and had a great deal of fun, expressed that Perry would be missed if she ultimately decided to depart from the show.
“The support [Katy] gives and the love [she] gives to the contestants would be missed,” said Tongi, who announced he is working on new music he’s “excited to share.” “I would miss Katy [if she left].”