Our second American Idol eliminee was revealed last week in Karen Rodriguez, the girl who can sing in both Spanish and English. As is customary, Karen participated in a media call to discuss the tragic events of her elimination, and because these Idol calls are always
scripted enlightening, I called in to get you the highlights. Read on the for the riveting details of Karen Rodriquez's brief career on television.
Had you stayed longer, how would you have incorporated Spanish going forward throughout the different theme weeks? Is that something you would have wanted to do every week in some way?
Karen Rodriguez: No. I didn't want to do it every week. I felt like I needed to do it at least for the first time that America really saw me shine, was top 24, and that's when I sang "Hero." It was one of my dreams to sing it. I would have loved to sing "I Will Always Love You" in Spanish and English -- that would have been one of my dreams, as well. But the weeks going forward, I wanted to sort of focus on America really knowing what I could do, because I'm also an R&B singer. I wanted to incorporate everything that I could in to just let America know that I wasn't only a Latin artist. That there was more to me than meets the eye, you know? So, that's something I would have loved to do. I would have loved to do more up-tempo songs. I would have loved to do some salsa, some merengue, maybe. That would have been great. So, yes, totally, I wanted to do a little bit of everything.
In one of the earlier shows, Steven Tyler said you had that "What it is-ness." How did you interpret that?
Karen Rodriguez: I took it as a great thing. Steven has always said that he loved -- and Randy also said that they love when I incorporate Spanish. They said they think I even sound better when I sing in Spanish. But, of course, I wasn't going to sing in Spanish every week. But, it's great to know, because this is who I am, this is what I grew up singing. I learned Spanish first, then English. And I know it's called American Idol, but there's so many diverse cultures in America, and I feel like I wanted to stand up for my race, for my heritage. And I'm so glad I did that. I'm so glad I stayed true to myself on such an Americanized show.
What did it mean to you to have Jennifer Lopez in your corner so much?
KR: It felt so great. I felt the love so much. I feel that she really, really understood me, because I know that she's gone through that before. People have said that she's seen herself in me. She struggled all her life, too, to get to where she's at. And my idol has always been Selena, and she got to play Selena. And when Selena passed away, she did the movie. I've been following Jennifer for so long, and I got to sing to her every single week. That, to me, was incredible.
You used to go to school with Pia. Could you talk a little bit about your relationship?
KR: Sure. Me and Pia, we used to be friends -- no, we are friends, but we used to be in school together. We were in a group, and we would write together. There was a time that Pia had trouble writing, finishing a song, and she asked me for help, and I finished it for her. We performed it. And even though she's older, I've always been like that bigger sister. I kind of support her, and I toughen her up a little bit, because sometimes she doubts herself. And I've always been the type of person to just like always be there for her.
Were you ever worried about isolating votes when you made the decision to sing in Spanish?
KR: No, not at all. I know it had to do a lot with the votes. But my main focus was always showing people who I was and being myself on the show. I wanted to be diverse, I wanted to make it known that I wanted to be a Latin American idol. That's my thing.
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