The Season 18 grande finale saw the final five face off with beautiful, remote performances as they battled it out for viewers' votes, while Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan gave feedback and celebrated their journeys.
For the two-hour finale, it all came down to Dillon James, Francisco Martin, Just Sam, Arthur Gunn and Jonny West, who each performed during two rounds, giving them two chances to win over voters and capture America's heart.
After the Top Five were cut down to the Top Two, only Gunn and Sam were left standing, and the pair waited with bated breath for host Ryan Seacrest to announce the new winner.
After a long, dramatic pause and tension-filled commercial break Seacrest revealed that the new American Idol champion is...
... Just Sam! The singer couldn't even contain her excitement as she celebrated with her grandma -- over video chat on a tablet -- from her performance space at her home.
"This is exactly, like, my dreams have come true," the overwhelmed songstress said, struggling to find the words to express her excitement. "Thank you so much America, I never, ever would have expected this!"
ET's Rachel Smith spoke with Sam after her big win, and the 20-year-old songstress reflected on how, even when it came down to just her and Gunn, she never expected to win.
"When [Ryan] said 'Our next American Idol is...' I was like, 'Congratulations Arthur,' in my head," Sam recalled with a laugh. "I didn't even expect to make it this far into the competition, but I did."
Back when she first auditioned, Sam's life story and her background singing for money on the subway in New York struck a chord with the judges, and Sam explained how some of the life lessons she learned there helped her during her Idol journey.
"There were days when I would go onto the train, and I love to sing, but there were days I did not want to be there," Sam recalled. "But you gotta keep fighting though... you gotta keep pushing, even when you're tired."
ET also spoke with the Idol judges after the finale, and Perry had nothing but love for Sam and her incredible victory.
"I think it's beautiful that Sam won," Perry shared. "It says so much about how far American Idol has come and how the American public are rooting for the underdog and still believe in the American dream."
Congrats to the new American Idol season 18 champ!