In a series of posts this summer, season 18 “American Idol” winner Samantha Diaz, known on the ABC talent show as Just Sam, has revealed she’s struggling financially, emotionally and physically, including needing to be hospitalized recently. But the 25-year-old singer told her fans over the weekend that it won’t help for them to tag or get in touch with “that show” or the people on it, alleging that “they don’t care.”
Shortly after winning “American Idol,” singing remotely from a Los Angeles hotel room at the height of the pandemic, Diaz told U.K. outlet Metro that she was counting on each of the judges to appear on her debut album. She also said past “Idol” winners including Laine Hardy, who’s since wound up facing his own challenges, and Maddie Poppe had reached out to her, offering to help her figure out next steps.
“That’s my family now,” she said. “For sure we’re going to be working together in the future, and making music together in the future.”
But Diaz never released an album with the label she won a record deal with. In early 2022, she revealed via Instagram that winning “Idol” during the COVID lockdowns made her journey to stardom nearly impossible. She said she “ended up broke” paying to get out of her record contract and go back to being an independent artist.
Diaz made headlines again in the spring of 2023 for admitting she’s returned to busking in the New York City subway system to make money for food and rent. As news of her circumstances spread, her fans were hopeful for brighter days as she posted that celebrities and producers had reached out to help earlier this summer.
But in recent weeks, Diaz has hit another speed bump, hospitalized and suffering from daily pain. Likely noticing fans tagging or messaging “American Idol” and its famous judges about her situation, Diaz took to Instagram to encourage them to stop, claiming that the show isn’t interested in helping her. Here’s what you need to know:
Samantha Diaz Says Show Has ‘Chosen to Do Nothing’ About Her Struggles
In Diaz’s Instagram feed this summer, she has primarily posted videos of herself singing in the subway system. But she occasionally updates fans on her circumstances via video or with typed messages in her Instagram Stories.
In recent weeks, she has posted several messages about not feeling supported, particularly by people outside her immediate family. Diaz was primarily raised in Harlem by her grandma, per ABC7, whom she often talked about on “American Idol” while she was competing.
On August 24, Diaz wrote in her Instagram Stories that she was “grateful for my sister, my grandmother, my nephews and all of the people who are still rooting for me.” She also posted a since-deleted video in her Instagram feed in which she talked about being hurt by others’ words and revealed she’d recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In the caption, Diaz wrote, “I made this video a while ago, but I never posted it because I didn’t want people to use this against me in anyway or make fun of me but I honestly don’t care anymore. This has to be said.” Diaz included the hashtag #mentalhealthawareness in her caption and took the post down on August 28.
After introducing herself in the video, saying she was “coming to you real and raw,” Diaz continued, “I just want to say to you guys really quickly that as a person who suffers or was recently diagnosed with PTSD, I just want to remind people to be mindful of the things that they say to one another. Not just this month, but going forward.”
“You never ever know how much what you say can have an effect on someone,” she continued. “You never know. You never know how much what you say can hurt someone. So just be mindful, be respectful and love. If you can’t love on someone, don’t hate ’em, don’t be mean to them. Leave them alone.”
Diaz’s fans rallied to support her with over 500 comments, as often happens on her posts. Oftentimes, they tag “American Idol” and its celebrity judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, urging them to help her.
For instance, on one recent post of Diaz singing in a subway station, someone wrote, “@americanidol you failed this beautiful soul. Whatttt is wrong? She’s so amazingly talented. My God intervention is needed. I love you Sam 🙏🏼 Keep pushing. Your best is yet to come.”
But the day after sharing her video, on August 25, Diaz urged fans via an Instagram Story not to reach out to the show, alleging that “they don’t care” about her circumstances.
“Tagging that show/those people telling them anything about me will not do anything,” she wrote in white text on a black background. “They already know what the situation is and they’ve chosen to do nothing because they don’t care.”
Diaz added, “They already got what they needed out of me lol don’t even waste your time.”
Recently Hospitalized, Samantha Diaz Says She’s in ‘Pain Every Day’
Diaz’s allegations about the “Idol” cast and crew being uninterested in helping her come weeks after she revealed she’d just been released from the hospital.
On July 30, she wrote in her Instagram Stories, “Feeling worse than I did before I went to the hospital smh .. but I’m happy to be back home, I will be focusing on taking care of myself and my health for the next few days/weeks. Thank you to everyone for checking in on me 😭🙏🏼❤️”
Diaz did not elaborate on her health condition, but on August 19, she posted a photo of her torso and legs in a mirror, wearing a black sports bra and disposable underwear, explaining that she was dealing with continued pain.
She wrote, “Adult diapers are comfortable asf don’t get me wrong!! But I am just really tired of getting my period every week of every month . I am tired of the pain and the cramps . I’m tired of the misdiagnoses, malpractice & the stupid medication that they try to put me on.”
“Being in pain every day,” she continued, “but smiling/ laughing through it .. it’s so draining NGL”
Diaz followed up that post with another plain-text message that said, “Yes, I have tried eating differently, cutting off stress , bed rest .. many other crazy things that doctors/ Surgeons suggested, but still in pain all of the Time .”
Diaz was also hospitalized in August 2022, per Us Weekly, when she shared in her Instagram Stories that she was down to just 100 pounds.
“100lbs is crazyyy,” she wrote at the time. “I seriously need help.”
Though “American Idol” typically brings back its recent winners to perform on future seasons, Diaz has not appeared on the show since her win.