Samantha “Just Sam” Diaz took America by storm when she debuted on season 18 of “American Idol.” The singer won in 2020 beating out the runner-up, Arthur Gunn. Now she has revealed she has returned to her roots of performing in NYC subway stations.

Samantha Diaz’s Journey After Idol

After posting sporadically for the past two years, Diaz recently began posting more consistently to her Instagram page. Of the new posts, several show her performing in subway stations. It’s the venue where she originally got her start. In a since-deleted caption on a video of her singing  Ariana Grande’s “Almost Is Never Enough,” Diaz explained the shame she felt surrounding these performances.

“Back in 2021, I was super embarrassed to be going back to the trains. I didn’t want people to know that I legit needed the money & I didn’t want people to know that it wasn’t optional,” she wrote, according to The Sun. “I was disappointed in myself for allowing myself to fall so low after winning Idol.

Diaz went on to write that she eventually had to give herself grace and remember that her journey with “American Idol” started when she was just 20 years old. A time when she was still very naive to Hollywood and the music industry as a whole.

“Since then, I have learned so much and I’ve been able to take my experiences and share them with other artists in hopes that they don’t experience the same things that I did when it comes to making it in this life,” she continued.

Although Diaz is not content with where her life is at the moment, she says she is staying positive.

“[my family and I] didn’t know what to do with the win especially being that we had absolutely no help,” she explained. “There are people who have had more success than me and good for them I’m happy for them, but I am not them. I don’t like my situation, but it won’t be this forever.”