Samantha “Just Sam” Diaz was crowned the winner of season 18 of “American Idol,” earning a record deal and the title of American Idol after a long and unprecedented season of the show where the live performances came from contestants’ homes.
That unprecedented aspect of the season is what led to a twist on the current season of ABC’s “American Idol,” according to executive producer and showrunner Trish Kahane’s interview with Billboard.
“We pivoted pretty quickly to remote production last year because we had to,” Kahane said. “When it became apparent that things were going to be a bit better this year and that we were going to be able to return to the Television City studio with big lights, we thought about last year’s contestants.”
The winner of season 18 has now spoken out on Instagram about who she wants to win season 19.
Just Sam Does Not Think Arthur Gunn Should Win ‘American Idol’
In an interview with Talent Recap, Just Sam said she thought Arthur Gunn would be winning “American Idol” season 19, but she revealed on Instagram that she no longer feels that way.
“Arthur Gunn, not because of anything personal, but because of how it went last year,” she originally said, according to Talent Recap. “We were neck and neck. If he made it to the top two and then he still has his top two fans.”
She later changed her mind, writing on her Instagram stories, “I’m really sorry but I really don’t want Arthur to win this year..I was rooting for him last year..but this year I’m rooting for Willie Spence or I just hope that a newer contestant wins now that the comeback results are in.”
She stated that she might feel differently if someone else had won the comeback results, but since it was Gunn, she doesn’t feel good about it.
Just Sam Has Released Music Since Her ‘American Idol’ Win
On March 13, 2021, Just Sam released a new single called “Africando,” which she thanked #TeamJustSam for on Instagram as well as her co-songwriter Cat Clark.
In December 2020, Just Sam shared that she feels so much more confident since she was on American Idol.
“Ever since the show, my confidence has continued to grow and shock me,” she wrote. “When people compliment me it’s hard for me to accept because sometimes it’s still very hard to believe. I don’t follow trends and do the things that other people my age do and I never really fit in one specific crowd.”
She added, “I’m beautiful on some days, but I could also look very handsome. Sometimes I’m chilling with the ladies and other times I’m hanging with my home boys. I know myself enough now to know that I enjoy changing things up… I love who I am now.”
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“American Idol” airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.
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