After being named the winner of ‘American Idol,’ Just Sam opened up about her close bond with the judges, what she plans to do next and much more!

Just Sam won season 18 of American Idol during the show’s virtual finale on May 17. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sam couldn’t be with her closest family member, her grandmother, during the big reveal. However, her grandma was with her via FaceTime, and they shared such a special moment as viewers watched around the world. Sam spoke to HollywoodLife and other media outlets after the finale, and admitted that it’s been hard to not be with her grandmother over the last several weeks. However, she said she’s been lucky enough to find a sense of family thanks to the American Idol judges, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

“Just having the love from each and every one of the judges throughout this entire competition has helped me,” Sam said. “Lionel, Luke and Katy have told me that I’m their family. They made me feel like their child, literally. [My grandmother] couldn’t be there with me in Hawaii, and she couldn’t be there for me now, during this time, and just knowing that I had them, their love and support, it meant so much. Each and every one of them genuinely cared about me.”

However, from Sam’s very first audition, the judges made her feel like she belonged. When Sam tried out for Idolshe got extremely emotional, and the judges helped her through it. Looking back on the entire season, Sam admitted that that was the moment she’ll remember most.

“They allowed me to grab their hands and they repeated a prayer,” Sam explained. “I feel like that moment will a

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