HONOLULU (KHON2) — One of Hawaii’s own is much closer to becoming the next American Idol after Kahuku boy Iam Tongi made it to the Top 3 on Sunday.

Tongi’s friends and family had a watch party to cheer Tongi on and it was an emotional moment once he made the final three.

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“We’re so proud of him. All the best to you Iam we love you,” said Fatafehi Fifita, Tongi’s grandmother.

“I am so proud of you, Iam. I love you,” said his other grandmother Tui Lokomana.

The family showed their support for the 18-year-old along Kamehameha Highway.

“Oh my gosh, I couldn’t hold my tears! We were all yelling. We were — we were having a moment of proudness. We are so proud of our boy,” said Tongi’s aunty Cassandra Tongi Kaumavae.

Tongi’s father Rodney had passed away but his family says he always told Tongi he would be on American Idol.

“I’m very proud of him. I hope he’s proud up there bc we’re so proud of him trying to push Iam to make his dream come true. And not only that but it’s for his future,” said Kaumavae.

Community members were already anticipating his arrival as many public contributions, donations and private sponsorship was done to plan a concert venue in Koolauloa for Tongi.

And now the island prepares for another Hawaii homecoming by Tongi for the show’s filming of “Hometown Heroes.”

The Kahuku native will fly home for a live concert at Turtle Bay on Tuesday

According to Sen. Brenton Awa, the concert will be free to the public but donations are appreciated. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and showtime is 5:15 p.m.

A convoy will kick off in Laie and end at the resort where Tongi will have a live performance.

Sen. Awa provided the following information for the concert and convoy.


  • Parking is limited to the first 3,000 vehicles
  • Gate opens at 3:30 p.m.
  • Enter through the Kawela gate entrance of Turtle Bay — follow event signage
  • Parking will be on golf course fairways


  • Convoy of trolleys departs from the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie
  • Departure at 4 p.m. on Tuesday
  • Kahuku High School’s senior class will make their way along Kamehameha Highway through Kahuku to arrive Turtle Bay


  • Located at Turtle Bay Resort (open field near Stables)
  • Doors open at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Showtime starts at 5:15 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m.

Prohibited Items:

  • Alcohol, chairs, coolers, outside food (food vendors will be on-site), weapons,
    drugs, lasers, drones

Shuttle buses:

  • Shuttle buses will operate free of charge for North Shore residents
  • Pickup will be between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Bus service to Turtle Bay: Hauula Shopping Center, BYUH, lot
    across Kahuku High School, (Haleiwa and Sunset locations TBD)
  • Shuttle return service will operate as well after the concert

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If you want to step in and help with concert costs for this public event, click here to make a donation.