Dalton Middle School Student Looks To Advance To Next Round Of 'America's Got Talent'

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - by Lindsey Derrick
Melysa Sparks
Melysa Sparks

In summer of 2014 you may just get to see 13-year-old Melysa Sparks make her singing debut on NBC’s "America’s Got Talent." 

The Dalton Middle School eighth-grader advanced to the second round of the competition and will hear in January if she has been selected to perform in front of the judges on the show.

Melysa, the daughter of Robert Sparks and Leticia Adame, said she has been singing for as long as she can remember. 

“It’s been a long, long time,” Melysa said. “I would hear a show’s theme song and mock it.”

Said Melysa, “Singing inspires me. The songs I sing have a lot to do with my life, and I can relate. I listen to a song, and I feel like I want to dance.”

Melysa has offered her talents to Dalton Middle for a while—she competes in  talent shows and even performs for her homeroom on Fridays—but she has had her eye on "America’s Got Talent" for a while.

“I watch the show, and I’ve wanted to do it for a while,” she said. “I made this image where I’m in it, and it made me feel so happy thinking of that.” 

To be considered for the show, Melysa first had to apply to come to the auditions. She had to answer questions like what are her goals and hobbies, and why she likes to sing.

In early October, Melysa got the news that she was moving on to the audition section. The message said where and when the audition was going to be held, and also had more paperwork to complete. 

Melysa then got right to work. She chose songs to practice, and had to get them down to the allotted 90 seconds for her audition. On Nov. 2, she traveled down to AmericasMart in Atlanta for her auditions—her dad, stepmom and sisters all made the trip with her.

Melysa said when they got to the location, there were cameras everywhere. (Behind-the-Scenes Note: When the show shot footage of the contestants “waiting in line outside,” they were all told to take off their jackets and winter gear since this show would air in the summer.)

“I saw lots of people with different talents, which was pretty cool,” said Melysa of the array of people at the auditions.

When it was her turn to enter the first round, Melysa went in a small room with three judges and sang “Oath” by Cher Lloyd. When she finished her song, they asked her to sing three more songs, and Melysa chose pieces by Macklemore, Adele, and Nicki Minaj.

Melysa then moved on to the second round where she performed in front of nine judges. She once again sang “Oath” and then when asked to sing more, Melysa chose to perform songs by Rihanna and Adele.

“One judge said to me, ‘No matter what happens, you’re a star. This child has talent!’” said Melysa. “It was really fun. I wish that day hadn’t ended.”

More auditions are taking place in other cities around the country, so Melysa won’t know if she has made it to the third round until January. The third round is when contestants appear on TV in front of the celebrity judges.

Melysa said she will be very nervous if she makes it to the third round since so many people would be watching. “It’s just not the judges; thousands of people will be watching you.”

In the meantime, Melysa will practice more songs to put in her repertoire and wait for the news of her fate on the show.

“I like to make people smile, and I love singing,” said . “I want to do this for the rest of my life.”


Cleveland State Sponsors Amateur Cultural Photography Contest

Cleveland State Community College sponsored an Amateur Cultural Photography Contest as a part of the 7 th Annual Multicultural Fair. This contest was open to students, members of the community, youth, faculty and staff. Entries were displayed at the fair and judged by fair attendees. Marvin Hudson was the winner of a digital camera with his submission of “Bald River Falls.” Mr. ... (click for more)

UTC Holds First ROTC Award Ceremony

The UTC ROTC program, under the direction of Major Robert Ricks, held its first award ceremony Thursday at the University Center on campus.    Usually having to travel to Knoxville to participate in a joint ceremony with UTK, this year the UTC program was large enough to have its own ceremony.   Ten room and board scholarships were given as well as six monetary ... (click for more)

Man Shot On Cannon Avenue Early Saturday Morning

A man was shot early Saturday morning on Cannon Avenue. At approximately 5:30 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2300 Cannon Ave. for shots fired.  Shortly after receiving the call, officers learned that a victim arrived at a local hospital.  The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the right leg and is undergoing treatment. The injury is not considered to be life-threatening.  ... (click for more)

Child Playing With Cigarette Lighter Starts $25,000 Mobile Home Fire

A child playing with a cigarette lighter started a mobile home fire on Saturday morning. At 9 a.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire at 6561 Cassie Lane. It took four fire companies about 10 minutes to get the fire under control. The fire was contained to one bedroom. No injuries were reported. Damage to the home is around $25,000. (click for more)

When The City Was Silent - And Response

I don't know how to say this without getting my head handed back to me on a platter as is often the usual case. But at least I no longer receive the hateful (even threatening) emails and insults I became accustomed to. So I'll just bite and say it: I honestly don't see anything expressed by the NSM that hasn't been said locally on some level at one time or another, and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW-UAW Fiasco Begins

One pundit who is awaiting the opening volleys of “The Volkswagen Hearings” is calling today’s start of the labor union fiasco at the Hamilton County Courthouse as fascism at its finest. That’s what you call it, he wrote in a fiery way, when the union, the employer and the president of the United States all line up on the same side. “And this push to eviscerate the legal rights ... (click for more)