Iam Tongi is from Hawaii, now living with his family in Seattle. His audition affected all of the judges and likely most of the viewers as well. This one’s a tearjerker!
Iam lost his dad, Rodney, just a few months ago and says he can still hear him harmonizing with him on every song he sings. Rodney taught Iam music from a very young age and always wanted his son to try out for American Idol. Iam is so emotional in the room that he has trouble starting his song, dedicated to his dad.
The song he chose, interestingly enough, is called "Monsters," written and recorded by James Blunt (remember his huge hit "You're Beautiful"?) It's interesting because this wonderful song was recorded in 2019 by James--but never released in America, only in Europe. Ian did a fabulous job on a song that was the perfect pick for his audition, as Katy said. Watch this terrific performance and listen to the lyrics in an audition that got Iam a trip to Hollywood.
Below the video of his performance is the video James Blunt made for his own version of the song. As it turns out, James wrote the song about his own father Charles, himself a kidney donor, who was diagnosed with stage four chronic kidney disease. Blunt wrote "Monsters" to "express his feelings about his father and his illness, almost as if it's a touching farewell to his father". James' father was reportedly on the list for a transplant in Great Britain. (We do not know if he actually got it.) The video is very emotional as well. See it below. Perhaps the attention that Iam gave it on national television will get it released here.