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 Hosts Welding Boot Camp

Cleveland State Community College hosted a Welding Boot Camp with Walker Valley and Bradley Central High Schools. The boot camp was held in CSCC's new welding lab that was established in response to industry demand for qualified, educated and skilled welders. Upon completion of the camp, students will have the opportunity to test for their AWS (American Welding Society) Certification. (click for more)

Chattanooga State Students Win Award For "Best 3-Minute Film"

"This is the best program for aspiring filmmakers, hands down,” said Chad Wilson, executive producer of film, ‘Hear Me.’ The ‘best program’ Chad refers to is the Professional Film and Television Training program (PFTT) at Chattanooga State Community College. The PFTT class won ‘Best 3-Minute Film’ at the Southeastern University Revolution Film Festival in Lakeland, Fla. " ... (click for more)

Stone Domestic Assault Case Postponed Until Aug. 9

The case in which Bobby Stone is charged with domestic assault against his wife, advisor to Mayor Andy Berke Lacie Stone, has been postponed until Aug. 9. Officials said there will be no further action until the TBI completes its investigation.  The case had been set Tuesday morning before general sessions court Lila Statom. The TBI is believed to be looking into ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Honors Military Veterans

A Memorial Day service was held at the National Cemetery on Monday. (click for more)

Calling Out Bad Behavior In St. Elmo

I have lived in the St. Elmo community of Chattanooga for practicially all 52 years of my life. My grandmother moved to St. Elmo in 1919. My Dad was literally born in a home in St. Elmo and lived his entire 72 years in this community and my Mom has lived here 60 years of her life. I am very disappointed in what my neighborhood has become. I like people. ... (click for more)

Don't Squander The 2016 Election Opportunity

This is what I don't understand. Christians refusing to vote for anyone who is not squeaky clean and who doesn't live up to our standards. I'm not bashing Christians. I proudly proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior.  But If we made our voice known more we could have a lot greater influence than we have. And I don't mean just boycotting. I specifically mean the last two ... (click for more)