Tongi, an 18-year-old Hawaii native, joined Blunt on stage to perform his smash track ‘Monsters,’ in which he can be seen fighting back tears following an extremely severe emotional roller-coaster over the season.
Tongi had previously sung the song, a ballad about a father and son, at his audition, which he said the judges was an homage to his late father.
Check out the moving performance below.
Tongi attributes his exposure to music to his father, Rodney, who died only a few months before his audition.
“I was not worried about whether you were going to make it through the song, I was worried about whether we were going to make it through the song. Your daddy is very proud,” judge Lionel Richie stated at the time.
Katy Perry, another American Idol judge, said, “What a fantastic song to pick. You’re making these grown men cry.”
And it was certainly a full-circle moment for Tongi, as Blunt joined him to perform a duet of the song on the show’s 21st season finale Sunday night (May 21)).
Tongi can be seen wiping tears from his face less than a minute into the performance as he struggles with the words.
The ‘You’re Beautiful’ singer then stepped in to assist Tongi in continuing with the song while looking into his eyes for emotional support.
When the two ended their act, they had a meaningful embrace as the crowd erupted in thunderous applause.
And it’s evident that the performance struck a chord with fans at home, as they’ve raced to social media to express their responses to the heartbreaking moment.
According to one YouTube user, “props to James Blunt for pushing Iam through this song.”
Another said, “This performance will always be remembered for its authenticity, humanity, and beauty.”
“The raw emotion from Mr. James Blunt is what really sent Iam over,” a third said.
“Two different singing styles, but both heartfelt and gut wrenching.” Thank you, Mr. Blunt, for assisting me in getting through this song.”
“I’m still emotional,” wrote a fourth. James Blunt is someone I’ve always respected. But the duet really got to me. This song and this performance will live with me forever. I sobbed when I found out you were the winner of American Idol.”
“This is probably the most emotional, heartfelt performance in American Idol history,” one last spectator wrote.
“Iam, your mom and especially your dad are very proud of you.”