And the Winner of ‘American Idol’ Season 18 Is…

The results are in!

During last night’s finale of American Idol, Just Sam was crowned the season 18 winner. The 21-year-old singer beat out Arthur Gunn, who came in second place. (Jonny West, Francisco Martin and Dillon James rounded out the top five.)

just sam american idol winner
Courtesy of ABC

The exciting news was revealed during the show’s first-ever virtual finale, which was hosted by Ryan Seacrest. “We have the final two results. Who will be your next American Idol? Normally I’d say, ‘Dim the lights, here we go,’ but…we can’t,” he joked.

When Seacrest announced Just Sam’s name, the singer could hardly contain herself. She even used an iPad to FaceTime her grandma, who was also screaming.

american idol winner just sam
Courtesy of ABC

Just Sam grew up in Harlem and entered the competition with very little professional singing experience, excluding impromptu performances on the subway. According to judge Katy Perry, this is only the beginning for Just Sam.

“You’re never going to go back to singing on the subway unless you want to go and just, like, do it for fun,” Perry said.

Just Sam also thanked AI viewers for their unconditional support, adding, “Thank you so much, America, I would have never, ever, ever expected this. Thank you, thank you, thank you for voting.”

So. Well. Deserved.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...