“American Idol” has crowned a new champ and the show’s judges couldn’t be happier for this year’s winner!
Iam Tongi took home the Season 21 title on Sunday night and the judges shared with Access Hollywood on the post-finale red carpet why his victory felt so earned.
“When we met Iam Tongi for the very first time, we all kind of were like blown away. You know, there’s that ‘it’ factor, especially when he starts to sing, but his personality is just so beautiful and bubbly and bright and attracting, you know?” Katy Perry said.
The 18-year-old left the judges emotional from the beginning with a heartfelt audition just months after his father passed away, and he told Access after his win that he believed his dad would be “crying” to see his son achieve such a remarkable feat.
Katy went on to explain that she believes Iam’s talent has a distinct quality that makes his singing like “therapy in a voice” and how he was able to convey his personal story through his music.
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“And he’s just so authentic and he’s really honoring his father and living his truth and he showed up because, his mom signed him up, but he wanted to do right by his dad. And when he sings, the vibration that comes out of his mouth is healing,” she added.
Luke Bryan echoed Katy’s sentiments and agreed that in a season filled with so many standout contestants, Iam left an unforgettable impression from the start.
“I think Iam, from Day 1, just captured so many hearts. Just spoke a chord with so many people. So Iam was definitely the frontrunner and and it was good to see him win,” the country star said.
Iam admitted to Access Hollywood that he felt like he was “dreaming” after his win and went on to reflect on what he feels was the best advice he got from the judging panel throughout the season.
“Just learn your strengths and just focus on it,” he said.
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