Cami Bradley is used to performing in small coffee shops and clubs around Spokane.
That’s why the 25-year-old singer was a bit nervous when she auditioned for America’s Got Talent in front of a panel of celebrity judges, and later in front of a national audience when the audition aired Tuesday.
“I was so nervous,” she said. “I’m used to performing, but not on a scale like this was. My kneecaps were shaking. My whole body was shaking. It was ridiculous.”
She appeared at ease, though, and the judges were stunned with her performance, a cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” She was selected to move on to the next round.
Bradley, who has been singing, playing music and writing songs as long as she can remember, auditioned for the show in May. On the show, judges Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Spice Girl Mel B. are looking for the next big act to bring to Las Vegas.
Bradley wasn’t initially interested in auditioning, but she decided to go for it after some persuasion.
“I always said no to these kinds of shows,” she said. “I’ve never really been a fame seeker. I’m really content where I’m at. My family pushed me to do it.”
She added: “I’m so stinking grateful they did because it has been the experience of a lifetime.”
Bradley, who also has played the piano since she was 7, is influenced by both classic and contemporary singers like Etta James, Adele and Ingrid Michaelson, and her songs are stories and lyrical interpretations of the people around her. She released her second album, “SEAS,” in May.
In addition to her local performances, Bradley, who grew up in a highly musical family, works as the music director at Life Center church and runs a photography business. She’s excited to take her musical career to the next level, she said.
“It’s pretty much nonstop,” Bradley said. “Music is my life now.”
Her Spokane fans are rallying for her, and Bradley is cautiously optimistic about her chances on the show.
“I will tell you that I am a hard worker and that I have a competitive spirit,” she said Wednesday after the show aired. “I would love to go all the way, and I will work my butt off to get there, but honestly it’s up to America whether they grasp onto me and whether they like what they hear. I’m going to give it my absolute best and hope that they see my talent.”
So far, the judges are pleased with what they hear.
“I really think that you’re a star,” Mandel said.
“Yes,” Stern said. “We will see you in Vegas.”