NYC's Just Sam earns a spot in American Idol's Top 7

ByBob Monek, Eyewitness News OTRC logo
Monday, May 11, 2020
just sam american idol

HARLEM, New York -- Just Sam has emerged as a favorite contestant in this season's American Idol, and Sunday night, she earned a spot the top 7!

Now she's hoping for a spot in next Sunday's Grand Finale!

Each of the final 7 performed two songs on Sunday night - one Disney song and one dedicated to a mother figure in their lives. For Just Sam, that person is her grandmother.

Voting is open until 9:00 a.m. on Monday:

Go to

In the American Idol App

Text "19" to "21523"


So just who is Just Sam?

She is 20-year-old Samantha Diaz from New York City.

She explained how her show name came about during 'American Idol: This is Me.'

"Growing up, I was kind of a tomboy. I would switch up my style a lot. In high school, they didn't know which category to put me in. I wasn't a girl, not a boy, but both. And I'm like Just Sam. You can't tell them anything else. It sounds perfect, I think I'm going to use that as my stage name forever," she said.

Just Sam is a proud member of the LBGT community.

Since middle school, she's been singing in the subway.

Filmmakers Joe Penney and Ladan Osmon followed her life on the subway for a documentary titled 'Sam Underground.'

Just Sam spent time in the New York City foster care system before being officially adopted by her grandmother.

Sam has been performing far from home since the pandemic quarantine began. She chose to stay in Los Angeles, far from her grandmother.

We'll find out if she will earn a spot on the grand finale of 'American Idol' next Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on ABC 7!


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