NYC's Just Sam is the new American Idol

ByBob Monek, Eyewitness News via OTRC logo
Monday, May 18, 2020
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From subway singer to America's favorite, Just Sam of New York City is the new American Idol!

NEW YORK -- From subway singer to America's favorite, Just Sam of New York City is the new American Idol!

Just Sam, who's real name is Samantha Diaz, came a long way from her Idol audition when she broke down in tears, overwhelmed by the situation.

Her first song of the night was a knockout with the judges as the 20-year-old from New York City performed "Stronger," the smash hit by the first Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson.

"Another beautiful performance," Luke Bryan tweeted. Lionel Richie called it a "killer performance."

Just Sam, who spent time in the New York City foster care system before being officially adopted by her grandmother, delivered chills with her second song of the night, "Rise Up."

The single version of the song was being released on Monday. Just Sam also appeared on 'Good Morning America' and 'Live with Kelly and Ryan' on Monday.

LIVE WITH KELLY AND RYAN'S AMERICAN IDOL ENCORE: "Idol" fans can play a part in giving a favorite finalist an additional national TV appearance: an at-home performance on "Live with Kelly and Ryan."

Rounding out the top 5:

Arthur Gunn - Wichita, KS

Dillon James - Bakersfield, CA

Jonny West - Studio City, CA

Francisco Martin - Daly City, CA

Voting closed shortly after their second performances.

Staten Island's Julia Gargano and Louis Knight of Narberth, PA did not make the final 5.

The finale featured an all-star lineup and amazing performances, including Mom-to-be Katy Perry's TV debut of her new single "Daisies."

Luke Bryan also performed his new single "One Margarita."

The show closed with an incredible performance featuring Lionel Richie and Idol contestants present and past, including Ruben Studdard and Katherine McPhee, performing "We Are The World."


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