On Monday, Christian singer-songwriter Megan Danielle came in 2nd place on season 21 of American Idol. Hawaii native Iam Tongi was crowned this season’s champion.
“What a wild and unforgettable ride! I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me,” Danielle wrote on Instagram.
Danielle, who is from Georgia, was surprised by Christian singer Lauren Daigle during her “Idol” audition while she was singing Daigle’s “You Say.” During her introduction video, Danielle shared that her late grandfather encouraged her to switch to Christian music since she used to sing in bars with her band. Despite the loss, Danielle continues to make music, including her recently released single, “Dream Girl.”
Tongi, 18, came in 1st place Sunday night following his performance of the song “Monsters” by James Blunt in tribute to his late father, Rodney Tongi, who passed away in December 2021. Blunt sang alongside Tongi. Both men’s fathers suffered from kidney failure.
Tongi, who will graduate from high school next month, won a recording contract as well as a $250,000 cash prize. During his time on “American Idol,” Tongi often shared his LDS faith on social media. He cited a quote from the LDS president and also posted videos of himself singing church hymns, including one duet of “Amazing Grace” filmed in front of the LDS temple in Oakland, California.
According to ChurchLeaders.com, Tongi dedicated many of his “Idol” performances to his late father, who had prompted him to audition for the singing competition. Although Tongi had an unsuccessful first attempt, his father encouraged him “to work on your music.”
Tongi shared that he gets emotional during his performances because he can hear his father singing.
“I can hear his harmony,” Tongi said. “Through my music, he’ll always be with me.”
The teen also shared that he’s been told by fans that they can relate to his story of love and loss.
“It makes me feel good about myself because I’m helping out someone else,” Tongi said. “But also, my dad’s helping them. It’s my story between me and my dad. … I already know he’s up there, telling everyone.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Stockbusters, this is a stock image.
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.