Newly crowned “American Idol” winner Just Sam’s rendition of Andra Day’s 2015 R&B song “Rise Up,” will be released as a single Monday.
The singer born as Samantha Diaz sang “Rise Up” as her final song in competition on Sunday’s virtually produced finale. She also sang it at the regional audition in Washington, D.C., which enabled her to advance to the Hollywood Round and take her first plane trip. She moved to West Hollywood for the “Idol” competition.
The two-hour broadcast on ABC began by revealing the vote reducing the field from the Top Seven to the Top Five, which also included Jonny West, a 23-year-old piano teacher from Murrieta who now lives in Studio City.
The Top 5 each then performed two songs. Just Sam, a 21-year-old from New York City’s Harlem neighborhood who describes herself as a subway singer, performed “Stronger,” the hit from the first “Idol” winner, Kelly Clarkson.
The field was later reduced to two, with Arthur Gunn, a 21-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, the other finalist. The third through fifth-place finishers were not announced.
Holding an iPad that connected her with her grandmother, Elizabeth, who adopted Diaz and her sister, Anabelle, after their mother was incarcerated, Just Sam shouted, “Oh my God, oh my God,” after host Ryan Seacrest announced her as the winner.
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