Hailing from Hawaii, Tongi graced the stage with a soulful rendition of Keith Urban's song "Making Memories of Us".
Ahead of his captivating performance, Tongi shared some candid moments with Keith Urban discussing his song choice, recalling how his late father used to play one of Urban's songs during his childhood.
The country crooner recognized Tongi's profound emotional connection to the song, reinforcing its appropriateness for his final performance.
With his guitar in tow and donning casual flip-flops, Tongi's emotionally-charged performance stirred the judges deeply which led to him taking home the crown. An overwhelmed Katy was seen visibly crying, while Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan managed to conceal their emotional reactions.
Upon the conclusion of Tongi's poignant performance, an emotional Katy commented: “Can I just say one thing? In between you and Megan [Danielle] I had to grab a little tissue and fold it into a triangle because every time you come on and you sing the vibration that comes out of your mouth, it goes through the weeds of people’s hearts and it just gets to them." She commended Tongi's moving performances, stating, "It moves us so much. So when you sing, I am ready to feel, baby.”
Both Lionel and Luke confessed to having been on the brink of tears during Tongi's performance. Katy, along with Luke, became emotional yet again as Tongi returned to the stage.
In the lead-up to the American Idol finale, a touching teaser was shared on the show's Instagram, capturing Tongi's heartwarming homecoming performance.
The video clip depicted the rising star strumming his guitar, wearing a lei - the traditional Hawaiian symbol of welcome or farewell, which prompted fans to express their own emotions.
The caption read: "Flower power and all the aloha. Hawaii welcomed back hometown hero @wtongi!" This elicited a flurry of emotional responses from fans, commending Tongi's representation of Hawaii's unique culture and their shared excitement for his successful journey.
A fan commented: "This is why Hawaii is so unique and special. When one represents our home and culture, you have the entire Hawaiian Islands behind you."
Others lauded the large turnout at Tongi's homecoming concert and parade, asserting their pride in his accomplishments regardless of the competition's outcome.
Their comments were brimming with sentiments of the "aloha spirit", reflecting their belief in Tongi's potential to heal the world through his voice. As one commentator encapsulated it: "The world came together to bring Iam home."
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