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.”


From Chattanooga State To Published Author

Morgan Smith, a 2011 Chattanooga State graduate, is taking her passion for writing and turning it into a career. She has published four mystery novels and is currently working on her fifth book. She began her writing career at Chattanooga State, where she wrote her first screenplay, Shades of Amber. She later used that script as the basis for her first novel.  Ms. Smith ... (click for more)

Kelly Named TCAT Outstanding Student Of The Year

James “Mickey” Kelly has been named the 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Chattanooga State Community College. Mr. Kelly graduated in December with his Computer Support Technology technical diploma. Mr. Kelly had always been good with electronics and thought he would be good at computers too. “I took to it like a fish to water ... (click for more)

2 Shot Tuesday Afternoon On Windsor Street

Chattanooga Police responded on Tuesday to the 2100 block of Windsor Street, on a report that two people had been shot.   Upon arrival, officers located two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. Their injuries are non-life threatening at this time. Both victims were transported to a local hospital by Hamilton County EMS.   Two suspects were reported to police. ... (click for more)

Erlanger Reports Dramatic Increase In Flu-Like Illnesses

The number of influenza-like illnesses treated at Erlanger Health System shows a dramatic increase compared to this time last year.  Erlanger reported treating 156 patients with flu like illnesses between Feb. 12 and 18 of this year. This represents a significant increase from the seven cases reported during the same week last year and 15 cases reported approximately a month ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Marshall’s 3% Folly

The National Health Interview Survey is believed to be the best gauge of health and behaviors in the United States. It is under the umbrella of the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so first let me share that the figures I am going to present are directly attributed to what is the best source believed to be out there. I didn’t make these numbers up and I had nothing ... (click for more)