This year’s American Idol finale did not end with the storm of confetti or live-performance of the popular musicians. Instead, as Ryan Seacrest wrote in his Twitter, the 18 seasons’ finale of the reality show ‘will go down in the history books!’ letting the winner celebrate the victory at the comfort of their own home. Nevertheless, the new American Idol crown has found its rightful owner.
Following a cut from the top five to final two, Seacrest finally read the name of the winner — the Harlem subway singer, Just Sam, whose real name is Samantha Diaz. At the time of the announcement, Just Sam was in a self-quarantine, FaceTiming her grandma as tears of joy rolled down her eyes.
Among the top five, Arthur Gunn and Just Sam got narrowed down to the final two before the announcement of the winner. In the end, Gunn became the runner-up finalist of the eighteenth season of American Idol.
Just Sam Becomes the Seventh Female Winner of American Idol
Later, after the announcement, Just Sam joined the judges and some past seasons contestants to perform the single ‘We Are the World.’ The 11 American Idol alumni who helped with the rendition of ‘We Are the World’ include Ruben Studdard (Season 2 winner), Fantasia Barrino (Season 3 winner), Katharine McPhee (Season 5 runner-up), Kellie Pickler (sixth place in Season 5), Jordin Sparks (Season 6 winner), Scotty McCreery (Season 10 winner), Lauren Alaina (Season 10 runner-up), Phillip Phillips (Season 11 winner), Gabby Barrett (third place in Season 16), Alejandro Aranda (Season 17 runner-up), and Laine Hardy (Season 17 winner).
The finale began with the elimination of semi-finalists Julia Gargano and Louis Knight Dillon. The top five: Dillon James, Jonny West, Arthur Gunn, Francisco Martin, and Just Sam performed two songs each, competing last time for the online votes.
Breakdown of the Final Performance of the 18th Season
The 26 years old Dillon James started off with the cover of Eric Clapton‘s Change the World and Bob Dylan‘s The Times Are a-Changin’.
Another top-five contestant, Francisco Martin, 19, performed another reality singing star, Harry Styles’ Adore You, along with an acoustic version of Maggie Rogers’ Alaska.
Just Sam, the only woman to make it to the top five, and now the seventh female winner of American Idol, covered Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger and Andra Day’s Rise Up.
The 22 years old Nepalese-American singer-songwriter, Arthur Gunn, sang I Don’t Want to Be by Gavin DeGraw and Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
Jonny West, 23, was the last to perform among the top five. He sang James & Bobby Purify’s You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down while playing the keyboard. West finished it off with his rap original, Makin’ Love.
After the finalists finished, the judges brought their own twist to the finale with Katy Perry debuting her new single, Daisies. Moreover, Luke Bryan performed his new song, One Margarita. Rascal Flatts virtually joined Doug Kiker, the garbage man who made everyone emotional at the audience becoming fan-favorite, to perform Bless the Broken Road.