Iam Tongi Wins American Idol Season 21

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced the competition's season 21 winner during the May 21 finale, which featured performances from judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

By Jess Cohen May 22, 2023 2:59 AMTags
Watch: Mystery American Idol Contestant Who Dropped Out Is REVEALED

Dim the lights, we have a new American Idol winner.

Following a three-hour season finale on May 21, host Ryan Seacrest announced Iam Tongi as the champion of the competition series, beating out Megan Danielle, as well as Colin Stough, who was eliminated earlier in the night.

(Megan, Colin and Iam were previously announced as the final three contestants during May 14's "Disney Night" episode.)

Prior to crowning the new winner, Megan, Colin and Iam all took the stage one last time to perform.

The season finale also included star-studded performances from judges Luke BryanKaty Perry and Lionel Richie, along with former American Idol stars Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard.

Ellie Goulding, James Blunt, Jazmine Sullivan, Jelly Roll, Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon, Kylie Minogue, Lainey Wilson, Lauren Daigle, Pitbull and TLC also took the stage during the finale, along with former Idol judge Keith Urban, who also mentored the three finalists.

American Idol: Where Are They Now?

In late April, Lionel couldn't help but gush over the talented artists he met this season.

"The top 12 are ridiculous, the top 20 was ridiculous," he told E! News. "Every one of them can be a number one artists, without a doubt."

Why? For the Grammy winner, it's all about style. "Everyone has a different twist on their talent," he said. "So at this point, I'm so happy we're not voting as the judges." (Like in past seasons, the public took over voting halfway through the competition.)

ABC/Eric McCandless

"Their voices, their attitude...look how much they've grown," he said of this season's contestants. "From those little shy kids you saw at the auditions to now...oh!"

ABC/Eric McCandless

The May 21 finale came just days after it was announced that Idol had been renewed for another season, which will be its seventh on ABC and 22 season overall. (The series previously aired on Fox before moving to ABC in 2017.)

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