American Idol

No rigging required in Iam Tongi’s Idol victory

Iam Tongi posing with Megan Danielle and Colin Stough at the American Idol finale. (ABC Photo)

Iam Tongi posing with Megan Danielle and Colin Stough at the American Idol finale. (ABC Photo)


The DailyMail interviewed American Idol champ Iam Tongi about what it called “THAT rigging scandal” — a suggestion that Colin was somehow unfairly robbed of an Idol victory.

The 18-year-old handled the question liked a pro, saying: ‘Everyone gets their own opinion. Everyone gets to think what they think. So, it’s fine.’

‘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.'”

Meanwhile, what rigging scandal? The entire idea is a flimsily constructed notion designed to get web hits.

There have been times when I’ve wondered about the outcomes on singing shows (Chris Blue’s win over Lauren Duski on Season 12 of The Voice being example A).

Their have been times when I believe producers went overboard in tipping the scales toward one contestant (everything that happened en route to Jordan Smith’s win on Season 9 of The Voice being example A).

Season 21 of American Idol?

It wasn’t one of those times in either case. Iam struck a chord with fans that no one else has since the show moved to ABC.

And anyone who thinks the outcome was rigged is ignoring all the evidence to the contrary.

Each week, Idol posted performances to YouTube. Each week, Iam’s were the most popular. By a wide, wide margin.

When the Top 5 released original songs, it was Iam’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” that almost immediately soared into the Top 10 on Apple Music, eventually reaching number one.

And Iam currently has 730,000 followers on Instagram. Colin and Megan Danielle, the other finalists, have yet to top 200,0000.

Then there was the crowd’s enthusiast response and the chants of Iam every time he stepped onto the Idol stage.

My only question: Would the time zone difference hurt Iam? In Hawaii, Idol’s finale aired from 2 to 5 p.m.

But the wildly enthusiast response to his homecoming — he was even greeted by the mayor of Honolulu and Hawaii Gov. Josh Green — pretty much allayed those concerns.

In Iam’s case, I think it’s pretty clear. No rigging was required.

See also …
Iam announces first big post-Idol performance
Iam says he can still hear his father singing
Iam’s new single reaches number one
iam Tongi wins American Idol
Iam Tongi’s winning night in photos
Iam Tongi’s journey to the finale in photos

Related Posts


  1. MichaelisthatYou? May 29, 2023 at 9:06 am -  Reply

    That is so unfortunate. Unhappy people will go through extremes to make up ___t with hopes of others jumping onto that ___t wagon. Reminds me of a dance teacher also know as “stir queen.” I guess they’re losing sleep. Too bad, so sad.

  2. TiredofTripe May 29, 2023 at 8:29 pm -  Reply

    Old time “Idol” viewers may be remembering the Jasmine Trias (Season 3) controversy.

    She was viewed as too young and merely a Hawaiian pretty girl with a limited voice.

    After the first three weeks of the competition, she stumbled badly.

    After she outlasted LaToya London and Jennifer Hudson and placed third, the backlash was that Hawaiian voters were power voting and using their time slot difference to their advantage.

    When Ms. Trias’s album sold poorly in this country, it added to this notion.

  3. TiredofTripe May 30, 2023 at 12:21 pm -  Reply

    Also, many people feel that “Idol” has been rigged for many years.

    From promos for certain contestants to certain contestants receiving no airtime before his/her performance.

    Distorted backstories, unfavorable edits, pimp spots, stacked semifinals groups, wild cards going to singers the judges/producers want to see, not who is the most deserving.

    Gender and ethnic biases.

    Singers dealing with theme weeks that force them to sing songs that in the genre.

    Fodder like Kevin Covais and Sanjaya who outlast better singers.

    The notion of the producers’ “Chosen One.”

    The shock eliminations that seem to be perceived as threats to the Chosen One.

    The complaints that “Idol” is a popularity contest, not a singing competition.

  4. Deb May 30, 2023 at 12:27 pm -  Reply

    Unlike the year where by all measures Clay Aiken should have won (and went on to have greater success than Ruben) , Iam won by huge margins. The country fans are just used to country singers winning. Danielle and Colin will do fine. For all of the reasons listed in this article, IDOL would have been rigged if Iam had NOT won.

  5. Deb May 30, 2023 at 12:34 pm -  Reply

    Idol would have been rigged had Iam NOT won.

  6. Jayne Hasselroth May 31, 2023 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

    Poor sportsmanship is what it is called. Iam was the overwhelming favorite. Congratulations to Iam, who deserved every vote.

  7. Diannia Shepherd June 2, 2023 at 3:07 pm -  Reply

    AI has always been a wonderful opportunity for young talent…each year it has become harder to pick a winner because everyone is so darn talented.
    Not everyone likes all music….that’s just a fact….me personally when hubby puts on Jazz…hmmm I cringe…..
    I love most all kinds of music and these young artists delivered in spades…ALL were really amazing. The top 24 were fantastic….really hard to pick ‘just one’….
    I really couldn’t choose because they were all great….but somehow…Iam struck a cord with many many people…he was kind and gentle and had a lovely voice. He made many friends…so personality played a big role.
    He may not be the ‘rock and roll’ idol…but he sure will be and Idol… well as many who made the top 10. Congrats to ALL….wishing everyone great success in the future!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *