American Idol Winner Iam Tongi Says He Forgot To Remove His Hat During All-Star National Anthem: “I Will Try To Do Better Next Time”

Iam Tongi

Last night, American Idol winner Iam Tongi performed the National Anthem just before the MLB’s fan-favorite Home Run Derby event.

All in all, the performance matched the moment of the All Star Break, but Tongi forgot to do one thing: take his hat off.

And of course, in typical social media fashion, people were eviscerating him on Twitter for it, sending in fiery replies like:

As you can see, typical social media outrage was being sent Tongi’s way. The Hawaii native clearly just made an innocent, honest mistake by leaving his hat on, but as you are probably aware, that wasn’t a good enough excuse for those who live to be mad at others online.

Tongi took to his social media to sort things out, also making it clear that even he was aware that he should have taken his hat off before he started singing. The 18-year-old (yeah, people are getting mad at a high schooler) clearly just got lost in the moment, and I’d venture to say that the rest of us weren’t perfect in our teens.

Most of us weren’t singing “The Star Spangled Banner” in front of thousands of people at one of the MLB’s biggest events of the year either….

Tongi sent out the apology saying:

“Tens of thousands of people. I walk out and my uncle reminds me to remove my hat before I start singing. I remember.

A few seconds later the nerves took in and didn’t remember until it was all done. I will try to do better next time.”

I’ll take Tongi’s word for it and write it up as a complete accident.

Clearly, he wasn’t trying to make any sort of statement, and for someone who went to high school just 30 minutes from Seattle where the All-Star weekend is taking place, its evident that the massive moment happened to distract him just a bit.

I was watching the event live and honestly didn’t even think about it. It was only until I saw social media’s ugly response that I noticed he forgot to take his cap off.

If you can look past the whole “controversy” though, Tongi gave one hell of a national anthem performance. Not at the Chris Stapleton level (because who will really ever achieve that point again?), but still very respectable and very well done.

Take a listen:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock