Official CBS.com Survivor: Panama - Exile Island
page excerpts (1/9/06):
"Melinda Hyder was born and raised in Elizabethton,
Tennessee. She has one sister, Regina, and is proud to point
out that her parents, Richard and Carol, were high school
sweethearts and have been married for 44 years. Hyder began
singing in church at the age of four. She trained in ballet,
tap, jazz and gymnastics for 12 years. She attended classes
and taught at the Watt Dance Studio in Elizabethton.
Hyder graduated with honors in music and math from
Elizabethton High School. She then attended East Tennessee
State University in Johnson City on a full vocal scholarship
and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. While
in college, she performed with the music groups 10BucsWorth,
Chorale and Women's Ensemble.
After college, Hyder entertained at Six Flags over Georgia
for two years. She then toured Europe while performing on a
cruise ship. She also spent six years performing at
Dollywood (often times with Dolly Parton). In addition, she
has worked as a real estate agent, private vocal coach,
dance instructor, pageant coach and model.
Hyder describes herself as vivacious, competitive and
compassionate. Her hobbies include creative home decorating,
collecting Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, watching CBS soap
operas and jogging.
Currently single, Hyder resides in Sevierville, Tennessee,
with her Pomeranian, Lexi. Her birth date is May 23, 1973."