American Idol winner Just Sam is back performing in subway stations three years after win
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Featured Image Credit: ABC/Instagram/@samanthadiaz
When contestants enter shows such as The X Factor or American Idol, they often have a story behind them and how it would mean the world for them to make it as a singer.
They often start out as a busker, entertaining commuters as they travel to work. But typically, if that individual ends up winning a competition like American Idol, they end up swapping subway station performances for selling out arenas.
However, that is not exactly the way it has been for Samantha Diaz, more commonly known as Just Sam, after winning American Idol in 2020.
The 24-year-old beat Arthur Gunn in the popular singing competition three years ago, landing a record deal with Hollywood Records in the process.
But it didn't work out for Sam at the label, as they left it before they'd even recorded their first song and say they even had to pay the label to retain copyright of songs they'd already recorded with them, causing them to struggle financially.
As a result, Just Sam is now busking on the New York subway, which has left some fans devastated and heartbroken.
Sam made the confession in a lengthy post uploaded to their Instagram earlier this month, as they had her sound system, a water bottle, and a donation box in front of her as they belted out a song to passersby.
In the post, the American Idol winner wrote: "Back in 2021, I was super embarrassed to be going back to the trains. I didn’t want people to know that I legit needed the money & I didn’t want people to know that it wasn’t optional.
"I was disappointed in myself for allowing myself to fall so low after winning Idol, but then I had to take it easy on me and remember that I started my journey with Idol at 20 years old. Not even knowing anything about Hollywood or the music industry."
They continued: "Since then, I have learned so much and I’ve been able to take my experiences and share them with other artist in hopes that they don’t experience the same things that I did when It comes to making it in this life.
"For my season, there was Covid-19 which literally had the world shut down and had many people in hiding unsure of what was going to happen next.
"I was very much unsure of what was going to come. For a few months after winning I was unsure of what was next, but I was ready and waiting for whatever it was."
Sam concluded their post by saying how they felt that they let herself and 'everyone down', but that there is 'more coming from me'.
UNILAD has contacted Hollywood Records and American Idol for a comment.