HONOLULU (KHON2) — Iam Tongi is one of the most talented musicians to come out of Hawaiʻi.
His ascent on American Idol has been pathed with the tears of those hearts he touches with his passionate voice.
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On Sunday, April 30, Tongi was competing to go to the next round of American Idol; and everyone in Hawai’i have the chance to make his dreams come true.
It was a time sensitive situation; so, votes needed to be cast quickly.
Two contestants were voted off the show on Sunday, and Iam Tongi was not one of them.
Tongi performed Sam Cooke’s R&B classic “Bring It On Home To Me” for the episode.
But, Tongi had a surprise for everyone on Sunday. He performed without his guitar for the time since beginning his American Idol journey.
Instead, he freed himself to indulge his voice, his talent, his passion and his audience.
In a remarkable performance, Tongi crooned his way into the top ten and belted out sounds that are typically only achieved by seasoned veterans of vocal performance.
Tongi whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his rendition of the Cooke song, giving him a standing ovation. Fans cheered so loudly that one of the judges, Perry, had difficulty being heard over the cacophony of love and cheering.
“I can’t even hear myself talk,” Perry can be heard saying as the crowd went wild. “This is what it’s like when Iam gets on the stage. This is just magic. This is what this is'”
Perry went on to exclaim, “You are the one.
Another judge went to gush over Tongi’s triumphant moment.
“I’ll keep this quick. There is no way people can’t love you,” said Bryan.
Even the international musical icon Lionel Richie found it difficult to express himself after what he’d heard.
“There’s nothing we can say, I can say,” Richie said. “The crowd is saying it all for us.”
With his homegrown grit and indestructible vision for his future, Tongi has blown away his competition at every step and has earned adoration, respect and hope of judges, fans and critics alike.
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Needless to say, we are rooting for you Tongi. You are truly following a path toward your destiny, and it is humbling to have the experience of witnessing your ascent.