American Idol’s Iam Tongi Hears Dad’s Voice When He Sings

Iam Tongi American Idol
(ABC/Paula Lobo) IAM TONGI

American Idol winner Iam Tongi sings No 1 single “I’ll Be Seeing You” on ‘Live’ and shares how he hears his dad harmonize when he sings.

American Idol 2023 ended its season on Sunday (May 21) crowning Iam Tongi the winner and Megan Danielle the runner up. Both finalists are in New York City right now for interviews.

Interestingly, the show didn’t fly the two out over night like they usually do. Instead, they waited a day. Iam and Megan visited Good Morning America on Tuesday morning where host Michael Strahan asked a few questions. Neither Iam or Megan performed.

Next, Iam hit Live with Kelly and Mark where they conducted a longer interview with Iam. After the break he performed his lovely winners single, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” penned by season 18 alum Francisco Martin. Megan’s performance will air on Wednesday’s (May 24) show. And then the winner of the Live “Encore” contest will perform on Thursday (May 25).

Iam admitted that he has had very little sleep. since Sunday. Standing on stage with Megan on Sunday, Iam said he felt at peace with any outcome, but was excited when he won.

Iam’s late father continues to guide him

Real frustration came earlier in the competition. When the guitar his late father gave him broke before an important performance, he finally lost it. But then he saw the guitar breaking “almost like a sign” from his dad that he could move forward in the competition on his own.

It was hard for Iam to sing after his father Rodney’s death, months before his American Idol audition, because when he sings the songs they played together, he can hear his dad’s voice harmonizing in his head. But eventually, his mom taught him to embrace it as a good thing “so you can hear him everywhere you go.”

Iam says the judges taught him to embrace his gift for storytelling. Next, he has to finish high school. Watch the interview below

Watch Iam Tongi perform his single “I’ll Be Seeing You”

“I’ll Be Seeing You” shot to No. 1 on the iTunes overall chart on Sunday. And as of Tuesday afternoon, it’s still topping the chart. James Blunt’s “Monsters” is No 2! Iam’ previous recordings, a cover of ABBA’s “Winner Takes it All” is at No. 18 and “Gone” is at No 34.

Iam Tongi and Megan Danielle visit GMA

Iam and Megan sat down with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America to share about their American Idol experience. Performing with James Blunt on the American Idol finale, Iam says that he told himself not to cry. But when James began to sing he was overcome with emotion. “His voice just sounds like Heartache,” Iam says. “I’m just so glad that he came out and sang with me.”

Megan, who said that she learned how to believe in herself on her Idol journey, has the goal to be “a big artist…to play a bunch of arenas, venues…I just want to be an inspiration for people and help lead people to the right things.”

Friends and family keep Iam humble

In an interview with People after the finale, Iam talked about how his culture supported him. “It’s crazy, all my Polynesian people out there just… they’re always supporting, and when they come, they show out,” he said. “They just cheer for everyone. Honestly, they cheer for everyone. They don’t only cheer for me. My brother voted for Zachariah [Smith]!”

“Honestly, if it wasn’t for these guys and all my family and our friends, I would… I don’t know if I would stay humble because these guys taught me every day that I’m useless — I’m just kidding,” he said with a laugh. “Honestly, we laugh a lot.”

About mj santilli 34997 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!