American Idol’ Shocker: Iam Tongi Beats Country Crooners To Win Season 21 In Tense Finale

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American Idol
Iam Tongi wins "American Idol' Season 21 (Credits: CNN)

“American Idol” Season 21 left audiences stunned with an unexpected twist during its nail-biting finale. Get ready to turn up the volume, grab a front seat row, and unleash your inner music fanatic because we are diving headfirst into the fun-packed and shocking episode of the American Idol finale.

During Sunday’s epic three-hour live broadcast, aired coast-to-coast on ABC, the thrilling finale of American Idol unfolded. The last episode of this intense competition showcased the incredible talents of the final three contestants- Megan Danielle, I am Tongi, and Colin Stough. As they took the stage for their final performance, viewers had the power to vote and determine the ultimate winner.

While judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie continued to provide their invaluable feedback, the stakes were high, and their role shifted to offering words of encouragement and well-wishes as the contestants prepared to embark on their promising music careers beyond the show.

American Idol 2023 Top 3
American Idol 2023 Top 3 Colin Stogh, Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle (Credits: Mjsbigblog)

Also read: American Idol 2023 Winner Iam Tongi Makes History.

In a gripping showdown, the last Rio of contestants took the stage to deliver not one but two songs each. One of these sections was a special rendition mentored by the guest mentor Keith Urban while the other paid homage to their beloved hometowns.

The suspense reached its peak when the charismatic host Ryan Seacrest unveiled the names of the top two contenders, setting the stage for an electrifying head-to-head battle featuring their own original songs. As the performances unfolded, the atmosphere cracked with energy. Tongi’s rendition of Keith Urban’s “Making Memories of Us” ignited a fervent chant from the crowd. Danielle’s powerhouse vocals soared to the heavens with a timeless journey classic, and Stough’s charmed the audiences with his irresistible country charisma, delivering a charismatic rendition of a Chris Stapleton hit.

Megan Danielle astounds audiences with Journey classic.

Danielle launched the show with a heartfelt performance of Urban’s “God Whispered Your Name,” drawing inspiration from her deeply rooted religious background. She selected this song because of its message that “God is always reaching out to you and sending people to help.” Danielle aimed to convey this uplifting sentiment to the audience. With her eyes set on enjoying the night to the fullest, she made a conscious effort to silence any negative thoughts and simply embrace any joyous experience. Danielle came back for a song devoted to her hometown of Douglasville, Georgia: “Faithfully” by Journey.

Read:   Sam Hunt and Hannah Lee Fowler Welcome their First Child Together!
Megan Danielle
Megan Danielle Bids Farewell To ‘American Idol’ (Credits: Music Mayhem Magazine)

Iam Tongi made the crowd scream his name.

The audience screamed Tongi’s name as he performed Urban’s “Making Memories of Us” in a smooth, funky style. According to Perry, the vibration that comes out of Tongi’s mouth goes through the weeds of people’s hearts every time he comes on and sings.

The 18-year-old high school student came back to sing “Cool Down” by Kolohe Kai in honor of his hometown Kahuku, Hawaii.

American Idol Winner Iam Tongi (Credits: PEOPLE)

Colin Stough transforms Chris Stapleton’s classic with his country-boy charm.

With his gritty voice, Colin Stough grooved out to Urban’s “Stupid Boy,” leaving the audience in awe. Bryan commented, “You’ve evolved into your artistic look, your style. You have simply come so far from the young person who first entered the auditions.”

The 18-year-old HVAC technician then sang Stapleton’s “Either Way” in homage to his hometown of Amory, Mississippi.

American Idol finalist Colin Stough (Credits: Pinkvilla)

Colin Stough eliminated from Top 3 after shocking twists

Rugged country crooners have a tendency to win American Idol, as Noah Thompson did last year and Chayce Beckham did the year before. Because of this, when host Ryan Seacrest announced that Colin Stough had been eliminated following the public vote and that Tongi and Danielle would now compete as the final two, the studio crowd let out a collective gasp.

I am Tongi, Megan Danielle, in an intense Final two battle

The American Idol final was a bang, with the last two contestants delivering their final best singing. Danielle sang “Dream Girl,” and Tongi jammed out “I’ll Be Seeing You.” It was a great face-off to watch.

Tongi’s victory marks the first time in three years that a singer outside the country genre has emerged as the champion. He sang Spawnbreezie’s “Don’t Let Go” while his fellow competitors joined him on stage, and colorful confetti fell from above. That moment of victory was worth remembrance. 

Also read: Adam Lambert to Join American Idol as a Mentor.

By Farheen Ali

It's Farheen. I hail from Bihar. I am a content writer and I love watching movies, specially thrillers of various kinds. My interest in writing and watching movies drove me to Otakukart. You can direct message me on

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