Monday night’s “Great Idol Reunion” celebrated 20 seasons of American Idol with performances from a slew of fan-favorite alums. However, Noticeably absent from the celebrations this year, however, was Season 18 winner Just Sam. Her fans are frustrated that she has never returned to the show in any capacity after winning the title in 2020.
Sam assures her fans that she’s fine
But Sam wants her fans to know she’s just fine.
“People are concerned about me not performing on @AmericanIdol ever since my win,” wrote Sam on Twitter. “but I had my time y’all. I’m GREAT & God is GREATER. I move where the lord takes me & where the Lord will allow me to go. I DO APPRECIATE THE SUPPORT/CONCERN but we’re all good over here lol!”
People are concerned about me not performing on @AmericanIdol ever since my win, but I had my time y’all. I’m GREAT & God is GREATER. I move where the lord takes me & where the Lord will allow me to go???? I DO APPRECIATE THE SUPPORT/CONCERN but we’re all good over here lol !
— Samantha Diaz (@CoJustsam) May 3, 2022
The one hour “Great Idol Reunion” special included performances from former winners Ruben Studdard (S2), Jordin Sparks (S6), David Cook (S7), Kris Allen (S8), Scotty McCreery (S10) and Laine Hardy (S17). Runners-up Lauren Alaina (S10) and Willie Spence (S19) also took the stage, as well as finalists Grace Kinstler (S19) and Laci Kaye Booth (S17).
Aside from Monday night’s special broadcast, reigning winner Chayce Beckham, season 11 winner Phillip Phillips and season 17 runner-up Alejandro Aranda nabbed prominent performance spots on the Top 20 performance episode. Even season 9 winner, Lee DeWyze had the opportunity to perform an acoustic song on the Hollywood Genre episode, aside from mentoring the folk/indie contestants.
With so many winners and finalists returning to the show this season, it’s no wonder her fans are dismayed.
But while the singer assures her fans that all is well, her post-Idol journey has not been easy. Sam “Just Sam” Diaz won the American Idol season that ended with contestants performing remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sam stayed in Los Angeles during the competition, and after she took the crown, she signed a deal with Hollywood Records/19 Recordings.
Sam described “going broke” paying off her record label
Unfortunately, being an indie artist has it’s downside, as the singer described in an Instagram video, where she described “going broke” paying off her former record label.
“I just turned 23 years old. So I was 22, 21 off of [American Idol],” she explained in an Instagram story. “It is not easy being a 21 year old and running your own business and paying for your own music to be mixed and mastered and all the good things,” She continued, “It is not easy, especially when you know, nothing about the industry. I don’t have parents to teach me these things. So I’m learning what I can.”
“I am making music,” she assured her fans. “I just cannot afford to release music, because mixing and mastering music costs a lot of money. And I invested in myself and ended up broke.”
“I’m not even going to tell you guys the amount of money that I had to pay after leaving the label to claim songs that I had already recorded.”
“I’m recording all the time or making music all the time, writing every day, doing what I have to do to survive,” she said.