Iam Tongi was crowned the winner of American Idol Season 21 with Megan Danielle taking second place and Colin Stough taking third.
Following Tongi’s win, there has been debate among some fans that the show was “rigged” for him to win. Now Danielle is opening up about the controversy and pushing back on the unfounded claims.
“I would say that it isn’t just because, you know, I feel like God made all of this happen for a reason,” the American Idol runner-up told the New York Post in an interview. “Even if I was first, second, last, whatever … I feel like any of us really deserved it.”
Danielle continued, “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.”
Audiences connected with Tongi after he revealed that he lost his father a few months before the audition due to kidney disease. It was his father that got him into music and his journey on Idol was in honor of his memory.
Tongi, the first winner from Hawaii in the singing competition also talked about what winning meant for him and his culture.
“I’ve always been about making my people proud, my family proud, my dad proud. My culture. It’s so cool I get to be an inspiration to other Polynesians and other people like me. I’m a Polynesian boy, but I love everyone,” he told TV Insider following his win.
On what his father would say knowing he was the winner of American Idol, Tongi said, “I know he would have been happy. I just love him and miss him and know he would be proud.”
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