“American Idol” contestant Just Sam was named season 18 winner after she performed the Christian song, “You Say,” with singer Lauren Daigle.
Just Sam, whose real name is Samantha Diaz, has been open about her faith throughout the competition, the Christian Post reports.
“Thank you, Jesus,” Diaz, 21, said on the show’s final episode.
“‘You Say’ seriously speaks to my heart and I feel like that’s what brought me to tears at my audition,” Just Sam said in a recorded FaceTime call with Lauren Daigle.
Celebrity judge Katy Perry and Luke Bryan both praised her performance in the show’s final episode.
“The Lord doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” Perry told the singer after her performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.”
Brian added, “You are a wonderful, blessed, singer.”
Diaz shared her testimony earlier in the show’s season, saying she was adopted by her grandmother after her parents abandoned her.
She said she earned money by singing in the subways.
During the “American Idol” series she also asked the judges if she could pray for them.
"Can I pray with you guys. Is that OK?" she said. “I have a prayer I want to do with you guys."
"So repeat after me,” she told the judges as they all held hands. “Heavenly Father, Lord make my life brand new right here, right now, with my friends and my new fam.”
Earlier this year, all contestants were sent home at the Top 20 phase because on the pandemic.
"#AmericanIdol continues to wish everyone health and safety," a press release said. "For the first time in competition show history, #AmericanIdol has broadcasted a full remote episode from over 40 locations, with all contestant performances shot on iPhones."
The season 18 finale of the show was broadcast from contestants’ homes and crew members working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“That’s going to be interesting,” showrunner Trish Kinane said last month. “Let’s hope the Internet gods are with us.”
Photo courtesy: ©American Idol/ABC
Video courtesy: ©American Idol/ABC
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.