X Factor crowned its first American winner. Melanie Amaro will go home with 5 million dollars and Pepsi ad contract.
Melanie Ann Amaro (born June 26, 1992) is an American-born British Virgin Islands singer who won the first season of The X Factor USA in 2011, securing a $5 million recording contract with Syco Music and Sony Music.
Amaro was born in Miami, Florida, in the United States and was raised in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. She is the daughter of Hipolito Amaro and Debra Sylvester Amaro. At age eleven, she started singing in school musicals, church choirs and sweet sixteens.[clarification needed] Amaro attended DnD Music Learning Center, Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School, Althea Scatliffe Primary School, BVI High School and graduated from Plantation High School in 2010.
In 2011, Amaro auditioned for the first season of The X Factor USA before judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid, singing "Listen" by Beyoncé Knowles. After becoming one of the Top 32 finalists, she performed Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" in the judges' house, in front of her mentor Cowell. Amaro was initially not chosen to be part of the Top 16 and was eliminated from the girls' category. However, Cowell surprised her at her Florida home, inviting her back to the competition after deciding he had made "a huge mistake" in not including her.
Amaro progressed to the live shows in Cowell's girls' category, along with Rachel Crow, Drew, Tiah Tolliver and Simone Battle. The addition of Amaro took the total number of qualifiers for the first live show to 17. On December 15, Amaro won a place in the final along with Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik. The following week, she was declared the winner. Her prize was a $5 million recording contract with Syco Music and Sony Music, which is the largest guaranteed prize in television history. In addition to the contract, Amaro will also appear in a Pepsi commercial set to air during Super Bowl XLVI on NBC.
Amaro will be releasing her debut album sometime in 2012, which will feature music styles different than what people are used to her performing.