In June of 2011, Amaro was persuaded by her mother to audition for the first season of The X Factor USA. She auditioned in front of judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid, singing “Listen” by Beyoncé Knowles. She previously tried auditioning at her local Fox affiliate for a “fast pass”, but was not well received by producers there and subsequently auditioned with the general public at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida. 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, after 2 weeks 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 andJosh Krajcik. The following week, she was declared the winner. Her prize was a $5 million recording contract with Syco Music and a Sony Music label, which is the largest guaranteed prize in television history. Shortly after winning, Sony Music label Epic Records announced that they had officially signed Amaro, who will be working alongside L.A. Reid at the label. In addition to the contract, Amaro also appeared in a Pepsi commercial alongside Sir Elton John, which aired during Super Bowl XLVI on NBC.
Amaro will be releasing her debut album sometime in late 2012, which will feature music styles different from what people are used to her performing. Amaro’s Pepsi commercial aired during Super Bowl XLVI on NBC as part of her X Factor prize. The commercial features Amaro singing a dance cover of “Respect”, along side Elton John, Flavor Flav, and Annie Ilonzeh. The song was released as a music download on February 2, 2012, although Amaro confirmed that the song does not serve as her debut single. As of March 29, 2012, Melanie’s cover of “Respect” has reached the #3 spot on the Billboard Dance/Club Chart. On August 1, 2012, Melanie released her debut single titled, “Don’t Fail Me Now”, written by Livvi Franc and produced by Rodney Jerkins. A full-length studio album is expected to be released sometime during the second half of 2012.