Will Iam Tongi win it all? Decatur student competes this Sunday at ‘Idol’ grand finale

Only one episode left for local singer and guitarist

After months of performances, flights and fitting schoolwork in-between, the journey is nearly complete for Iam Tongi.

From a crowd of competitors that started in the thousands last year, the Decatur High School student has now made it to the Top 3 of this year’s “American Idol” competitors.

All that’s left is the 2023 grand finale, which premiers at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21 (Pacific time).

Tongi, who was born and raised in Kahuku, Oahu, secured his spot on Sunday, May 14, with a performance of “Lava,” a song featured in a Pixar short of the same name. The song details the story of Uku, a fictional, anthropomorphic volcano who falls in love with another volcano called Lele. He also performed “Father and Son” by Yusuf / Cat Stevens.

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Tongi also thanked Federal Way and Seattle for “taking me in as one of their own, and opening doors for me, giving me so many opportunities.”

As with the previous several weeks, audience voting will determine Tongi’s fate. For more information on how to vote, visit https://idolvote.abc.com.

Talk to us

Are you an “American Idol” fan, a parent or student at Decatur, a member of the Polynesian community, or anyone else touched by Iam Tongi’s appearances on “American Idol?”

We’d like to know what his performances mean for you, in terms of cultural representation, musicianship, or anything else. Email alex.bruell@soundpublishing.com to share your stories or thoughts on the rising musician.