Iam Tongi is absolutely not fussed about the controversy surrounding his American Idol win – and actually ‘loves’ the drama.
The 18-year-old was crowned winner of season 21 on Sunday evening, following three incredibly moving performances – leaving judge Katy Perry in tears.
He beat out stiff competition from Megan Danielle and Colin Stough – with some fans claiming that the vote was ‘rigged’ in his favor, suggesting that the latter should have claimed the victory.
However, the teenager remained unbothered about the reaction, and revealed that his late dad, Rodney Tongi – who died in 2021 – prepared him for the worst.
‘A lot of people are like, “Colin Stough was robbed,” or whatever. And I just love it,’ he said when asked about the comments.
‘My dad always told me that your music’s not meant for everyone. There’s going to be people that are not going to like it and that’s okay, that’s normal.
Iam Tongi was crowned American Idol winner on Sunday (Picture: Getty)
‘Everyone gets their own opinion. Everyone gets to think what they think. So, it’s fine.’
Despite not being bothered, Iam revealed that he has seen some of the comments on social media, and has even reached out to ‘like’ a few.
‘I just like [them], whatever what they say,’ he added to DailyMail.com. ‘I am guilty for liking it. But look, [my] music’s not for everyone. And I have to learn that the hard way.’
Some viewers were rooting for Colin Stough to take the crown (Picture: Getty)
Iam delighted viewers with his performances throughout the competition, and spoke of his connection to his late father through music.
During Sunday’s finale, the judges were left emotional over as he wowed the crowds with his duet with James Blunt, as well as his original track, I’ll Be Seeing You.
Following the win, a very small number of viewers claimed that the competition had been ‘rigged’ in his favor and alleged that he had been able to ‘skate through’ the series.
However, many, many more were delighted to see Iam take the crown at the end of a rollercoaster series.
‘I haven’t watched – or cared about – American Idol in 15 years, but Iam’s emotional story and beautiful music have completely captivated me,’ one penned on social media. ‘Congratulations!’
‘I think the thing I like more about Iam Tongi winning American Idol is man was really out here just jamming Island Jams instead of singing the usual Mainstream stuff lol Ouua the man,’ another said.
As a viewer added: ‘Iam Tongi singing Kolohe Kai’s Cool Down is the best thing I’ve seen on American Idol.
‘Bringing those Island vibes to the world!’
Got a story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
MORE : Incredible way savvy Tina Turner boosted her fortune to $250,000,000 two years before death
MORE : Nick Cave admits to being ‘extremely bored’ at King Charles’ coronation and major ‘conflicting feelings’
Iam was crowned winner on Sunday.