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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

Interview with Cami Bradley of America’s Got Talent

imageSeason eight of America’s Got Talent has to be one of the better seasons for the show, if not the best season so far. This has to do with many factors including a judging team that gelled very well and of course some phenomenal talent. This talent was so supreme that it was hard to predict how it would turn out. I had a chance to talk about how the season went with finalist Cami Bradley who surprisingly went out in sixth place.

Cami couldn’t have guessed the final order of the six finalists either. After the performances Tuesday night, she was trying to go over in her head what the final lineup would be, but it was even hard for her and the other finalists to determine how it would all end up. She knew how she did personally and got to see the other performers as well, but she recognized all six acts as being really strong.

The singer could have been standing next to any of the other acts in the final six and been eliminated at any time and not been surprised. Noting that she received really good remarks from all the judges after her final performances, Cami may have been eliminated, “but I feel like I went out really strong,” and that was her ultimate intention.

Cami was the last female singer standing, and she chalks that up to her originality. She doesn’t feel it has anything to do with the caliber of talent, just her amount of originality. This is well-noted by all the judges as well. She continued to get high praises for her uniqueness and creativity in the way she took songs and changed them to suit her individual style. She’s not done either; she figures she has plenty more of that in her still. Cami is a songwriter and loves to arrange music as well, and she knows she’s not done yet.

This calls into question judge Howie Mandel’s comments the last few weeks concerning the talent level of the final acts. He felt that the non-singing acts had a larger degree of difficulty in performing, since they were writing, creating, and inventing characters, while the singers were only singing each week. But for Cami, she was “honing my craft of writing and arranging,” as well as singing each week. It all takes a lot of training and work. She finds it to be just a “different type of honing your craft.”

Once again this year America’s Got Talent had a change at the judges’ table. Sharon Osbourne was out, and Heidi Klum and Mel B. were in. Every year there always seemed to be at least two judges who didn’t get along, or one who didn’t seem to be enjoying the time spent at the table. But this year there seemed to be a greater camaraderie between Howie, Heidi, Mel B., and Howard Stern. Cami saw that as well and noted that when watching some reality shows it seems like what you see between the judges is just an act, but this seemed genuine and real. “I thought the chemistry between the four of them was amazing.”

Speaking of those other shows, with so many to choose from when you’re displaying singing talent – American Idol, The Voice, The X Factor – I wondered why Cami chose to audition for this show, one that isn’t dedicated to just singing. It turns out she didn’t choose America’s Got Talent; it chose her. Some unknown person sent in a video of her singing, and the show asked her to audition. She needed to decide whether or not to grab the opportunity. Luckily for her fans, she did.

Now that Cami has the success of one talent show behind her, would she consider auditioning for one of those other shows? She doesn’t think so, but did note that she’s only two days out from the experience of America’s Got Talent. It was “a lot of work and a lot of time and an amazing experience for me,” and while she has no regrets, she isn’t looking to go through that again anytime soon.

Much of the reason Cami doesn’t regret her time on America’s Got Talent is because of what she has gained in terms of exposure and confidence and even relationships. She feels she has grown as well. “It’s been amazing for me as an artist and as a person.” She has learned a lot about herself. Before the show, she didn’t even know if she enjoyed performing. She found out she adored it and learned that “maybe I was made for this more than I thought I was.”

Believe it or not, this is Cami’s first serious attempt at a singing career. It was always just a hobby for her before. Just before appearing on the show, Cami recorded a self-funded and self-released album, and just decided to “give it a go,” never predicting it could turn into something this big. Despite doing so well on the show, throughout every single round, Cami admits that she was sure would be eliminated.

Cami’s plan is to keep riding this out to see where she can take it. The hope, of course, is to see if she can get signed to a recording contract. She’s going to look to see what is in her best interests and what is right for her. Before she can do any of that, though, she’ll be going on the America’s Got Talent Live Tour. You can catch the tour in a city near you throughout October and November. See below for a schedule.

If you’re looking to have the same success as Cami Bradley this season, don’t wait for an anonymous person to send in a video tape of you performing. You can audition live in one of seven cities across the US – Miami, Atlanta, New York, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles – or you can also audition online. Find out more information on the America’s Got Talent website.

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