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.”


State Releases 2014 District-Level TCAP Results

The Tennessee Department of Education on Wednesday released district-level results from the 2014 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, which show strong gains in high school, and relatively constant scores in elementary and middle school. As seen in state results, districts did well in high school in most subject areas. Statewide, growth in 3-8 reading dropped slightly ... (click for more)

Women Entrepreneur Symposium To Be Held Tuesday

The WE women entrepreneur symposium (formerly named Women At The Top Symposium or W.A.T.T.S) will be held on Tuesday, August 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Stratton Hall. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Honorary WE Chairperson, invites all women entrepreneurs to a symposium featuring Sloane Scott, a.k.a. the “Digital Diva” of FLO Thinkery, as the keynote speaker, ... (click for more)

County Commission Chairmanship Up For Grabs After Exit Of Henry, Skillern

The chairmanship of the County Commission is up for grabs after the exit of two commissioners who have held the post in recent years. Larry Henry is moving on to serve as Circuit Court clerk. Fred Skillern was upset by Randy Fairbanks in the Republican primary. Most of the returning commissioners have their eye on the possibility of taking over as chairman, or at least getting ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)