Just Sam: From American Idol Winner to Working at Starbucks

Just Sam: From American Idol Winner to Working at Starbucks
(ABC) JUST SAM

Is Samantha Diaz, aka Just Sam, the winner of American Idol 2020 working at Starbucks? The singer, who has been open about her post-win struggles, recently dropped a couple of videos on Instagram wearing the green uniform while seemingly working in the coffee shop.

She doesn’t come right out and say HI I’M WORKING AT STARBUCKS NOW! But she does address her new job in comments. “That’s cool you work for a coffee shop,” reads one comment. Sam replies, “yes it is cool because I’m a cool person.”

Also, the commenters all lament how American Idol did her wrong, and should be earning money from music at this point in time.

She posted the first clip at the end of November singing Mariah’s Carey’s classic “All I Want for Christmas is You.” I guess the managers there don’t mind her singing on the job?

A few of the comments:

“It’s sad how American idol does it’s African American winner’s… look how they did Candice glover.” and “American Idol never markets people of color like they do others. Shame On You. That’s why I don’t watch it”

“This makes me so sad!! Such beauty and talent and haven’t heard from you really. I want you to shine baby! You deserve THAT!” writes another commenter. And this from another commenter: “Hello can someone tell me why is samanthadiaz in a coffee shop and not in a studio making music last i checked she won the American Idol.”

Kicking off the New Year working at Starbucks

A month later, on December 31, Sam posted another video from Starbucks where she sings the Christian song “Safe and Sound.” One commenter expresses disappointment, “If you can win America idol after we support you over other serious singer and you failed yourself, I don’t know why you even still singing. Maybe you just like to sing for penny like you did on the bus or in Starbucks. I’m disappointed.”

“Why is the American Idol working at Starbucks???” asks another. A self described publicist, Karen Fairey writes, “So talented. If you need a publicist going into 2023, let me know. You should have a deal and be on a tour at this point or in a movie. You can do just as much, if not more than the other idol winners.”

A couple more comments: “The producers made such a big deal of your ‘rags to riches’ story then they just drop you as soon as they’ve made their initial profit. Disgusting. Winning that show should result in mentors, nurture, support long term. It’s messed up. Nothing wrong with grafting at Starbucks, but you put in the work for Idol and you deserve so much better.” And this: “This can be for real!! Wdf is she doing working at Starbucks after winning the American idol just two years ago… I hope she is the Managing Director there or the CEO.”

Sam claimed she went broke buying out her American Idol contract

American Idol producers did frame a “rags to riches” story for Sam, showing her living in a Harlem project with her grandmother and singing in the subway to make ends meet. Unfortunately for Sam, she competed in 2020 as the pandemic hit. Avenues to tour and record were limited. But also, for whatever reason, Sam bought out her contract with 19 Entertainment, which she claims wiped her out financially.

She’s dropped several songs in the meantime, working with co-writer and close friend Cat Clark, but has no manager or publicist to help her get the word out. She doesn’t play shows. Except, Sam is still working in the NYC subways, as the clip she posted from July reveals. The comments on the post are the same. Fans mad at Idol and asking why.

The singer can be found performing in the NYC subway

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

For some artists, it can be a tough, tough road after the confetti falls.

About mj santilli 33883 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, 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!