Decatur High School senior and "American Idol" contestant Iam Tongi sits at home on March 1. His father Rodney spent a bonus from his job as an electrician to buy Iam’s guitar. Alex Bruell / The Mirror

Federal Way’s Iam Tongi advances to Top 5 on ‘American Idol’

Decatur High School student shows no signs of slowing down.

After months of competition, Decatur High School student Iam Tongi has reached the final stages of this year’s “American Idol.”

Tongi, originally from Kahuku, Oahu, is now one of the top five competitors left on the show.

His recent performances on the show continue to span genres and decades, and included Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me,” Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” Alanis Morissette’s “Guardian” and a duet of Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” with fellow competitor Oliver Steele.

There are only a few more episodes left for “Idol,” which wraps up in late May. The show airs Sundays and Mondays on ABC, and can be streamed on Hulu.

The fate of the contestants, including Tongi, comes down to audience voting. For more information on how to vote, visit https://idolvote.abc.com/#faq

Talk to us

Are you an “American Idol” fan, a parent or student at Decatur, a member of the Polynesian community, or anyone else touched by Iam Tongi’s appearances on “American Idol?”

We’d like to know what his performances mean for you, in terms of cultural representation, musicianship, or anything else. Email alex.bruell@soundpublishing.com to share your stories or thoughts on the rising musician.


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