A new season of american idol is officially underway, and the contestants’ stories are already pulling at the heartstrings long-time viewers. But one person’s story particularly struck a chord with the judge Luke Bryan to the point of bringing him to tears.
During the premiere episode of the most recent season, I’m Tongi entered the audition room to compete for a spot in the Hollywood rounds. Standing in front of Luke, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, the 18-year-old aspiring singer talked about the special bond he had shared with his father Rodney, who had recently died.
After emotionally telling the judges how he still hears his father harmonizing with every song he sings, Iam went on to perform his rendition of James Blunts “Monster”.
When Iam finished his audition there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Along with his poignant story, Luke opened up about his own personal journey with loss. “I can’t handle your heart breaking about your father,” he said. “Because you know, my nephew lost his dad and he came to live with me… Just seeing you missing your dad just sucks.”
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He continued: “Gosh, man, you just got an amazing voice … You just did everything perfectly, and I love you and I just want to see you have fun in this whole thing. It’s just amazing what you just did. “
It wasn’t just Luke who cried when he heard Iam sing at the top of his lungs. Fans immediately flooded social media with their own heartbreaking stories of loss, sharing how much they related to the singer’s story.
“I’ve watched this ten times and cried ten times. Not only is this a beautiful story, but it’s a beautiful voice. I could listen to him sing all day,” one person wrote on YouTube. “What a beautiful tribute to his father. Lying ugly in bed right now crying. You sir go places with such a beautiful voice. I could listen to it all day!” added another.
“This is the only song that ever made me cry. I love my dad so much and I couldn’t imagine losing him. Much love to everyone who has. You can be apart [sic] of my family forever,” another fan agreed.
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Luke has previously been vocal about the loss he endured throughout his life. In 1996 he lost his brother Chris tragically in a car accident. A decade later, in 2007, Luke taught his sister Kelly died while at home with her son Towhich he brought with him to live with his family.
So, did Iam’s tearful audition get him a place in the next round? Not only did he make it to Hollywood, he even got a hug from Luke. Better stock up on tissues for this season!