Iam Tongi earns standing ovation with ABBA cover on American Idol

Publish Date
Wednesday, 26 April 2023, 10:06AM

The 18-year-old high schooler from Hawaii has had an incredible ride on the 21st season of American Idol and he’s taken millions with him on the journey.

Tongi has thoroughly impressed the judges and grown in confidence over his time on the show.

On the latest, Top 20 edition, he did it again, this time with a stripped-back interpretation of ABBA’s 'The Winner Takes It All'. Just guitar and Tongi’s warm vocals.

After he finished, Iam's mum was in the house, leading the standing ovation.

“I guess this is called the Iam Tongi Show now,” Katy Perry said afterwards. “Can you believe what you’ve done? You’re 18. Your voice is timeless. What you’re giving us is transcending everything and hitting everyone in a certain spot. It doesn’t matter how old or young they are. Watching you become a star, feels like I’m watching a Disney movie.”

Iam's performance the next night earned him a hug from Lionel Richie after he performed Lionel's own song 'Stuck On You' with a reggae twist. 

Watch that performance below.

You've got such a gift Iam!

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