Feel All the Feels as Just Sam is Crowned ‘American Idol’ Winner


Just Sam proves that you can still chase your dreams while being isolated from loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Evidence that you don’t have to stop just because the world has been stuck on the pause button is in the form of a 21-year-old New Yorker who just won this season’s, American Idol. Samantha Diaz, known as Just Sam, is exactly the kind of inspiration everyone needs right now. Having begun her musical career singing in the subways of New York City, the going was not always easy.


Her perseverance has lead her to become the first-ever virtual winner of American Idol. The show’s finale made American television history as it was one of the first shows ever to air an episode remotely.


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She’ll rise up from right where she’s standing 🕯🙌 All our winner @justsam.co needed was a chance on #AmericanIdol.

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Since having been crowned the winner on Sunday, May 17, 2020, the singer has already made her debut on Good Morning America as well as Live with Kelly and Ryan. With her signature gleaming and genuine smile she gushes on Live with Kelly and Ryan about how not expecting to be crowned winner amped up the experience and made it “ten times greater.” She excitedly continues saying, “…when you start from the very bottom and make it to the top, it’s like, that’s a whole testimony…” And a powerful one at that.

ABC/Eric Liebowitz

The talented singer has stolen America’s heart as she tells of having made the decision to stay isolated in California to keep her grandmother safe and protected back home in Harlem, New York. Her story continues to tug on heartstrings: Her grandmother, Elizabeth, raised her from the age of six following her mother’s incarceration. Her grandmother was shown in virtual attendance of the finale episode via an iPad gripped in both of Just Sam’s hands during the winning announcement.

Make sure to keep an ear out for Just Sam’s heartrending vocals with her first single “Rise Up.”