American Idol’s Just Sam “Embarrassed” by Return to Busking

AMERICAN IDOL - "315 (On with the Show: Disney/Mother's Day)" - "American Idol" gets closer to crowning the 2020 winner with an all-new episode revealing who America voted into the Top 7, SUNDAY, MAY 10 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.(ABC) JUST SAM

American Idol 2020 Winner Just Sam on being “super embarrassed” after returning to busking for money

Shortly after the New Year, we reported that American Idol 2020 winner, Just Sam, was working at a New York City Starbucks as a barista. The young singer was posting clips of herself in uniform, singing while on break. She had also returned to singing in the subway for money.

After Sam won American Idol, she signed a record deal with Hollywood Records/19 Recordings, but never released any music with them. She has never told the full story of her split with the American Idol enterprise, but she has said she went broke buying out of her contract.

Now, she’s taken to social media with another clip of her singing underground. In the long comment alongside the video, Sam confesses her embarrassment when she first returned to busking.

“I was super embarrassed”

“Back in 2021, I was super embarrassed to be going back to the trains,” she wrote. “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.”

The young singer knew nothing about the music business when she auditioned. “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.”

She goes on to explain the unusual circumstances around her season of American Idol in 2020. The Covid pandemic began shortly after Idol taped the Hollywood rounds. After a brief hiatus, Idol returned with remote performances. Sam spent the rest of the competition holed up in a Los Angeles apartment, apart from the producers, judges and fellow contestants.

“I was very much unsure of what was going to come,” she writes. “For a few months after winning I was unsure of what was next, but I was ready and waiting for whatever it was.”

“I never expected to win”

Sam didn’t expect to win. “Everyone wants to know what happened and why this or why that and I will answer those questions someday, but In the meantime I’ll say this. I never expected to win, but I did. I was so grateful and I know that people are feeling like I let them down. I used to feel like I let myself and everyone down too, but I am a child of God and I keep the lord involved in all that I do so I know that there’s more coming for me. I know that everything happens for a reason and I know that this too shall pass no matter what things may look like right now.”

“I’m not like any other contestant that has ever had a chance to be a part of the American Idol production…my grandmother is who I have and who I have always had and she knows absolutely nothing about the music industry. All she knows is how to listen and call out a good singer when she hears one.”

“We didn’t know what to do with the win”

“We didn’t know what to do with the win especially being that we had absolutely no help .There are people who have had more success than me and good for them. I’m happy for them, but I am not them. The cards in my hands don’t look like anyone else’s which is fine because I have GOD. I don’t like my situation, but it won’t be this forever. This is only part of the story not the end.”

Sam has shared her struggles with depression and coming out as LGBTQ. Also, the young singer made several trips to the hospital last year for a mystery illness she claimed doctors misdiagnosed.

She has released a few singles on her own that went nowhere without proper promotion. It sounds like she’s out there by herself right now. What happened to Sam that she wound up breaking off from anybody who could have helped advance her career? Hopefully, she’ll tell her full story some day.

About mj santilli 34981 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!