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    "American Idol" Contestant Iam Tongi Is Going Viral For His Powerful Performance That Brought The Judges To Tears

    By the time Lionel Richie told Iam he'd made his daddy proud, I was straight-up sobbing.

    This week, American Idol contestant Iam Tongi went viral for a powerful audition that touched hearts all across the country. I'm warning you — get your tissues ready now!

    A close-up of Iam during his audition

    While introducing himself, the 18-year-old said he grew up in Kahuku (a town on O'ahu) and moved to Seattle three years ago. When asked why he would leave Hawai'i, he replied, "Priced out of paradise."

    Iam went on to share that his father died just a few months ago.

    Iam tells the judges that his dad is the one who got him into music

    The singer began getting emotional...

    ...and Lionel Richie had some comforting words.

    Lionel said, "When you love so deeply, you feel so deeply. And so, what you've given us right now is the fact that you love that man so much"

    Before wiping away his tears, the high school student said he'd be singing "Monsters" by James Blunt, and he dedicated the song to his dad, Rodney.

    And when Iam started singing, my god! He could not have chosen a more fitting yet heartbreaking song. You can just feel the love and loss pouring out of him. By the end, my chest was aching, and my own eyes were filled with tears.

    I wasn't the only one who got emotional:

    Obviously, the judges showered Iam with praise:

    Luke said, "I cannot handle your heart breaking about your dad...Gosh man, you got a great voice"

    And the internet had a lot to say too! Tons of people were brought to tears:

    One person commented, "I'm crying and so are you" while another said "I'm not saying I'm crying but my eyes did get wet a little"

    Some shared their stories about their own fathers:

    User arakelamikaelian said "My dad died 5 years ago as of March 28th the same birthday of my daughter. I love you dad. I hope I have made you proud"

    And many Pacific Islanders shared their love and pride for Iam:

    "From one Pacific Islander to another, very happy to see another one of us going towards success. This song choice was perfect"

    After his audition finished, Iam dedicated his golden ticket to his dad. He said that people often think he's crying because he misses him, but that's not the whole story. "It's because I hear him singing. I can hear how he would harmonize with me in that song."

    A flashback to Iam and his dad singing together

    You can watch Iam's audition here:

    View this video on YouTube


    We are all so proud of you, Iam! Best of luck throughout the rest of the competition. I'll be rooting for you!