The second time was a charm for Camille Lamb.
During an open call for the hit talent show “American Idol” in 2016, the Pass Christian native tried out but was not cast.
“Honestly that was the best thing for me,” Lamb says. “At the time, I was not ready.”
Four years and a lot of practice later, she was prepared to try again — confident that she now could compete on a national stage. Her rendition of the Fugees “Killing Me Softly with His Song” impressed the panel of celebrity judges, including Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, and she earned a golden ticket to Hollywood.
“I will never stop pursuing music; it feeds my soul.”
“It was a mind battle waiting for my turn to audition,” admits the 22-year-old, “but once I saw the judges’ faces, I was immediately at ease. They were excited to see me, and I was excited to display my talents and hard work.”
That work began years earlier, when Lamb was a student at The University of South Alabama and joined a cover band called Mid Life Crisis, which performed around Daphne, Foley, Fairhope and Mobile. Determining that college was not a fit for her, she took a leap of faith and moved to New Orleans to pursue her music career.
“The New Orleans music scene is what really inspired my artistry; jazz, funk and soul is where my heart and passion for music lies,” Lamb says. “I moved back home amidst the COVID pandemic, and that is when my ‘American Idol’ journey began.”
While the experience was more tiring than she’d expected, she describes it as overwhelmingly positive.
“At the end of the day, it is a competition, but also a TV show,” Lamb says. “There were always cameras around, and we were constantly putting our thoughts, feelings and experiences into words. Surprisingly enough, I loved it.”
While Lamb liked all the judges, her favorite was Perry, whom she credits with giving her the best advice and the best criticism. Of the three, she felt the hitmaking singer cared about her most and genuinely wanted to see her succeed.
“She told me to make music my discipline and to never stop developing, and I took that with me on my departure from American Idol,” Lamb says. “I will never stop pursuing music; it feeds my soul.”
Although Lamb didn’t become the next American Idol, as she was eliminated in the Showstoppers night-two round, she was pleased to make the top 40. And her fans shouldn’t be surprised to see her on the competition in the future.
“I’m going to keep rolling with the punches and pursing my passion,” Lamb says. “Wherever my hard work and talent lead me, that’s where I’ll be.”