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American Idol winner Iam Tongi responds after fans hit out at show and claim it's 'rigged'

American Idol winner Iam Tongi responds after fans hit out at show and claim it's 'rigged'

Iam Tongi won American Idol, but others have suggested that the show was 'rigged' or a 'sympathy vote'

American Idol winner, Iam Tongi, has hit out at claims that the competition was ‘rigged’ and suggestions that he only won because of a ‘sympathy vote’.

The accusations from fans have come thick and fast since Tongi won the show, largely because a large part of his personal backstory on the programme was about his father’s recent death.

His dad Rodney – who died in 2021 – featured heavily in several of the performances that saw Tongi win the TV talent show, including using his guitar for a number of songs.

However, some think that the use of that narrative was a bit too much, perhaps even overshadowing the contestant’s talent.

What’s more, others have said that some of the people who finished behind Tongi might actually be more talented anyway.

Now, Iam has had his say on the matter.

Iam Tongi used his dad's guitar for a few performances.
ABC

He said: “A lot of people are like, ‘Colin Stough was robbed, or whatever. And I just love it,'”

The 18-year-old went on to say that whenever he sees negative stuff online, he just offers them a like to show that he’s got no hard feelings about it.

“I just like [them], whatever what they say, ’cause you know, [I gotta] let those things happen,” he said.

“I am guilty for liking it.

“But look, [my] music’s not for everyone, and I have to learn that the hard way.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Tongi added: “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 OK, that’s normal.

“Everyone gets their own opinion.

“Everyone gets to think what they think. So, it’s fine.”

Either way, Tongi did win, and even got to perform with James Blunt on stage at one point.

Now, he’s putting together an album that he says will have a ‘Jack Johnson kind of vibe’.

“I’m excited to share with people,” he said.

The 18-year-old has responded to claims the show was 'rigged'.
ABC

As for those who did finish behind Tongi, Megan Danielle has now broken her silence on the claims that it was all ‘rigged’.

She was diplomatic and gracious, stating: “I would say that it isn’t just because, you know, I feel like God made all of this happen for a reason.

“Even if I was first, second, last, whatever … I feel like any of us really deserved it.”

Danielle added: “I feel like Iam was deserving and he’s so humble and so talented.

“And this was his time and I’m just super proud of him.”

Featured Image Credit: ABC/American Idol

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV, Music, American Idol