American Idol did away with the pomp and pageantry that usually marks its grand finale shows – a sprawling stage filled with past contestants linking arms while singing and cheering fans packed to the brim in an auditorium – prioritising safety instead.
The reality singing show held it first-ever at-home finale on May 18. Contestant Just Sam was all alone at home when she was named its Season 18 winner.
“My dreams have come true. Thank you so much America. I would have never expected this,” said the 20-year-old, who was also on a video call with her grandmother while the announcement was made.
Just Sam is self-isolating alone in California to keep her grandmother, whom she lives with in Harlem, New York, safe.
American Idol Season 18 premiered its pre-taped portion – the audition and Hollywood rounds – on Feb 16.
Its usual live performance rounds no longer became feasible due to stay-at-home orders, prompting it to air its first remote show on April 26.