American Idol kicked off a brand new season in 2022 and already, the contestants have been whittled down to the Top 5. Season 20 has seen Leah Marlene, Fritz Hager, Nicolina, HunterGirl and more musicians sing their hearts out in a bid to win the competition.

As American Idol season 20 rolls on, many fans reflect on past winners of the show. Throwing it back to season 18 and Samantha Diaz was blowing the judges away week after week. So, let’s find out more about what happened to Just Sam – Where is she now?

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Who is Just Sam?

Samantha Diaz introduced herself by her stage name, Just Sam, on American Idol in 2019.

At 20 years old, hailing from Harlem, New York, Just Sam caught the judges’ attention from her very first audition.

She used to sing on the subway and used the money she earned to get by in life. Just Sam lived with the grandmother in the Projects when she auditioned for American Idol. She was adopted by her grandmother when she was young and speaking on American Idol, Just Sam said that she wanted to give back to her grandmother everything that she gave her.

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What happened to Just Sam?

Just Sam’s singing talent took her through to the final of American Idol season 18. She sang Rise Up by Andra Day and went up against Dillon James, Francisco Martin, Arthur Gunn and Jonny West.

Just Sam won American Idol season 18 and went on to release her version of Rise Up in 2020.

In 2021, she released another single, Africando.

The American Idol winner still sings today

Just Sam is still singing in Harlem in 2022 after her American Idol season 18 win. Since winning the show in 2019, Just Sam released two singles but she’s no longer signed to Hollywood Records. Just Jared reported in 2022: “Sam signed a record deal with Hollywood Records after winning Idol in May 2020, but she parted ways with the label without ever releasing an album with them.

In 2022, she has 151K followers on Instagram @samanthadiaz and over 14K subscribers on YouTube.

The subway singer writes on IG that she’s available to sing for “Proposals, Weddings, Funerals“. Just Sam often takes to Instagram to share her life with her followers and her grandma also features on her feed.

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