Iam Tongi, the winner of American Idol, has apologized for a ‘disrespectful’ performance of the National Anthem.

On Monday (10 July), the 18-year-old musician performed at the 2023 MLB Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

Tongi kept his hat on while the throng rose to their feet and removed their caps to show their respects during the National Anthem.

Tongi, who won the 21st season of American Idol in May, posted a video of his performance on YouTube with a statement explaining the wholesome cause for his gaffe.

“This is my first attempt at signing the National Anthem. I was very nervous because it was in front of such a large crowd. And please accept my apologies for being so scared that I neglected to remove the cap.”

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In a tweet to his 20,800 followers, he pledged to ‘try to do better next time’ and included a video of his performance.

“Hundreds of thousands of people.” As I step out, my uncle asks me to take off my hat before I begin singing. I recall. “A few seconds later, the nerves kicked in and I didn’t remember anything until it was all over. I’ll try to do better next time,” he posted on Twitter.

One Twitter user criticized the performance, saying, “Is it just me, but anyone else think it’s disrespectful for Iam Tongi to sing the national anthem and not remove his cap #HomeRunDerby?”

Many people appreciated his apologies and explanation, as well as the Tongi’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner.”

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“You nailed it,” one ecstatic viewer exclaimed. “Don’t worry, you did America proud.”

“Great job performing our National Anthem!” said another enthusiast. Most of us would be terrified of such a task. No insult intended, and thank you for modeling honesty for everyone!”

“You did an amazing job, brought tears to my eyes,” said a third. I can see your pride in singing the anthem. It took just as much guts to realize you’d forgotten and admit it as it did to stand in front of all those people and sing. “May God bless you!”

“Brah, your performance was absolutely patriotic and inspiring,” said a fourth. “Your voice rang true with so much passion and talent,” one person said on Twitter. “Don’t be concerned about the hat; it’s a minor blip in comparison to the incredible impact you made on that massive stage.”

“You were awesome young man,” wrote another. I get emotional every time I hear you sing for some reason. I am really proud of you. We voted for you every round, and I’m sure you’ll learn to take off your hat. Best wishes.”


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