William “Iam” Tongi is still processing the unanticipated win at the American Idol last week.
The 18-year-old singer became the first Hawaiian native as well as the youngest male to ever win the competition at season 21.
Speaking to TV Insider, the up-and-coming star gushed about his win, saying that “It’s amazing.”
“I was so happy everyone voted. Thank you to everyone. Now that I’m the ‘Idol’ of the 21st season, it’s crazy.”
However, fans of the show challenged the results, claiming that the entire competition was “rigged” in favor of Tongi who they alleged “had the best sob story” out of all.
When Tongi first appeared on the show to audition, he revealed to the judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie, that his father passed away due to kidney cancer only a few months ago.
Throughout the show, the high schooler honored his late father by using his guitar for every performance until it broke during the midst of the season.
According to the singer, his entire experience on the show taught him that “it’s not a bad thing to talk about your problems and what you go through.”
At the finale, Tongi brought the judges to tears with his renditions of Keith Urban’s Making Memories of Us and James Blunt’s Monsters.
As for his future plans, the teenager does not want to limit himself to a specific genre of music, revealing that he “love[s] all music.”
“I just want to have fun with it,” he added.