'American Idol': Luke Bryan Wipes Away Tears During Singer's Audition

todayFebruary 22, 2023 4

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American Idol kicks off a new season Sunday, and the premiere episode will tug at your heartstrings. 

ET exclusively debuts a first look at one of the contestants, Iam Tongi, hoping to make it to Hollywood. As Iam begins to tell his story to judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, it soon becomes apparent that his audition isn’t just any other audition.

The Hawaii native, who moments before was nervously giddy over auditioning before the trio, shared once he entered the room that his father was the one who taught him everything about music.

“He’s the reason for all this?” Lionel asked in the clip.

“My dad passed away a couple months ago,” Iam revealed, before getting visibly emotional over losing his dad.

When he felt comfortable enough to continue, he told the judges he’ll be performing a cover of James Blunt’s 2019 song, “Monsters.” (Blunt wrote the song as a tribute to his father, who has Stage 4 kidney disease.) And that the performance was dedicated to his late dad.

As Iam began to strum his guitar and sing “Monsters,” Lionel, Katy and Luke were all moved by the rendition. Luke was so touched by the heartfelt performance that he wiped away tears with a tissue.

After his audition, Lionel praised Iam for showing his heart and soul through the song.

“Young man, you take this into the world and you’re going to fracture some souls. Your dad is very proud,” he assured him.

Hopefully, this is a promising start to Iam’s American Idol adventure.

American Idol returns Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.


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