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NYC's 'Just Sam' wins virtual 'American Idol'

New Yorker Just Sam won this year's "American

New Yorker Just Sam won this year's "American Idol." Credit: ABC

New York City subway singer Samantha "Just Sam" Diaz was crowned the season-18 winner of ABC’s "American Idol" Sunday night.

In the competition's first virtual finale, where the singers each performed via remote video from wherever they were sheltering during the COVID-19 pandemic, Just Sam edged out runner-up Arthur Gunn (né Dibesh Pokharel) and fellow finalists Julia Gargano, Dillon James, Louis Knight, Francisco Martin and Jonny West.

"I'm EXTREMELY GRATEFUL & HAPPY to be the next #Americanidol!" Diaz, who is self-isolating in Los Angeles, wrote on Instagram. "This is more than a dream come true and i just want to thank you all so so much for voting for me and loving me and caring about me and just being so kind to me !! I love you all and im so happy right now words cant even explain!!! THANK YOU AMERICA!!!" 

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