Katy Perry Broke Down Live on 'American Idol' Finale During Fan Favorite Iam Tongi’s Heart Rending Performance
American Idol winner William a.k.a. Iam Tongi left the audience and judge Katy Perry teary-eyed with his emotional rendition of Keith Urban's song Making Memories of Us. The U.S. Sun reports that Perry could not hold back her tears as Tongi gave a heart-tugging performance on stage. She was seen grabbing tissues while crying in her seat. A visibly moved Perry expressed: “Can I just say one thing? In between you and Megan [Danielle], I had to grab a little tissue and fold it into a triangle because every time you come on and you sing, the vibration that comes out of your mouth, it goes through the weeds of people’s hearts and it just gets to them. It moves us so much. So when you sing, I am ready to feel, baby.”
Judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie revealed that they too had been fighting back their tears during Tongi's performance.
Tongi, the Hawaiian singer took centerstage wearing a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops. He revealed that his soul-shattering song choice, Making Memories of Us was a tribute to his late father who used to play the track while he was a kid. Prior to delivering the sentimental number on stage, Tongi met up with Keith Urban himself for song suggestions, and since Urban noted his "emotional connection" to the song, the country music legend thought it would be the "right choice for him."
Ahead of the American Idol finale, ABC Network released an emotional teaser of Tongi's homecoming performance back in Hawaii. The clip also showcased fans sobbing to his renditions. Tongi is seen wearing the traditional 'lei' and strumming his guitar, and the post is captioned, "Flower power and all the aloha. Hawaii welcomed back hometown hero @wtongi!"
The post was instantly flooded with comments. One fan said, "This is why Hawaii is so unique and special. When one represents our home and culture, you have the entire Hawaiian Islands behind you." A second fan added, "HAWAII loved having @wtongi back home in the Islands! There were THOUSANDS of people that showed up for the parade and concert honoring @wtongi!" A third fan added, "Mahalo @wtongi for representing HAWAII, your culture, your faith, and you just being you! You are already a WINNER to us! Whatever happens on Sunday, this is just the beginning of many more blessings to come!"
A fourth fan wrote, "I can't stop watching! This is so beautiful! There's nothing like this. Our community showed up! Nothing like the true aloha spirit!" Another wrote, "There may be competition, but they do not have that Aloha and mana that Iam has because this is our boy who can heal this crazy world with his voice. The world came together to bring Iam home."
People reports that a three-hour nail-biting finale ensued on Sunday where Iam Tongi competed against Megan Danielle and Colin Stough. Tongi, 18, was crowned the winner of American Idol season 21, following a rousing performance of his original song I'll Be Seeing You.