March 18, 2011 11:37 AM by Lisa Princ
Last night on American Idol on FOX we watched as Karen Rodriguez was eliminated after spending two weeks in a row in the bottom three. In a post elimination interview Karen shares her experience and future plans. Keep reading for more details!
American Idol said goodbye to Karen Rodriguez last night, and in her post elimination interview, Karen reveals that Jennifer Lopez would have saved her. Here is what Karen wanted to share about her experience and future.
Question: How much did singing “Hero” in both English and Spanish mean to you last night?
Karen Rodriguez: It meant the world to me, something I have wanted to do my entire life. To be able to sing that song on the number one show in America, and America is one big melting pot. It could be called American Idol, but everyone on the show brings their own style.
Question: When you are eliminated is it harder to leave the competition itself or all your friends that you have made?
Karen Rodriguez: It’s both. I wanted to stay and continue, but I live by the words that everything happens for a reason. I am going to miss everybody, and Jacob…we would go to each other for advice, we were just very very close and and I am going to miss him so much.
Question: How tough was it growing up with financial difficulties?
Karen Rodriguez:Both my parents are Hispanic and came from different countries to find opportunities in America and it started off pretty rough. My parents can’t really work so they receive checks from the government. My mom used to take money from her checks to me to make me look beautiful on stage when I was performing, she always sac for me and the children. The thing is though that my talent has taken me so many places so I know I can pay her back someday. I lived in Italy for a year and LA all because of my music.
Question: Tell us about your experience in New York going to the “Fame” school.
Karen Rodriguez: Amazing I was born in Miami but I think if I stayed in Miami I would not be the person I am today. New York really kind of strengthens me and there are so many opportunities in New York for kids and I was blessed to get into that school which was amazing and it’s free. I want to be that person to encourage other children that it’s not too early to start out and reach out for your dreams, it was definitely a blessing to go to that school.
Question: Anything judges told that you would use to move forward?
Karen Rodriguez: Jennifer has been a fan of mine from the beginning and she said I was perfect, if it would have all been on her I know she would have saved me – she told me. Everything happens for a reason and if it was my time to go then I know there are better things to come for me. Randy and Steven came to me also and told me I was amazing and that good things were to come for me.
Question: What are your plans now?
Karen Rodriguez: I can’t wait to go home and start writing and bettering myself as a musician. I still have to work on so many things but I know this time off will help me to better myself.
Question: You mentioned that you would like to do movies and commercials as well, can you elaborate?
Karen Rodriguez: I would love to do movies and commercials, I’ve done a voice over for a movie already. I’ve done my first play in high school which gave me the confidence. I’d love to do theater, I’ve auditioned for “In The Heights, I’ve auditioned for “West Side Story” on Broadway. It’s amazing and now with the opportunity that people know who I am maybe more opportunities will be available for me to go further. Anything I can get my hands on, I am going to milk it and make it go further. I envy Jennifer Lopez so much and I definitely want to be like her for sure.
Question: How do you stay so positive?
Karen Rodriguez: You know what, I feel like there have been so many instances in my life that I have had to lose something and in a few days or a few months I will see why. Maybe if I stayed longer there would have been an opportunity that I missed out on. Maybe it was my time to be on the show for a little bit so I could get my name out there. I don’t want to be known as only a top 12 finalist for American Idol, I want to be known as Karen Rodriguez the next Latin sensation and I feel like I made that name for myself and I can’t wait for what’s next.
Question: You had the chance to work with some big name producers, did they teach you anything that you can take forward with you?
Karen Rodriguez: They did improve my voice and working with them was such a smart strategy they incorporated into the show and taught us how our lives are going to change. We all want record deals out of the show, that’s what we want. Every single one of them had their own flavor. I got the chance to work with Jim Johnson who wrote Sweet Dreams for Beyonce’ and I never dreamed of working with him, he took my Selena song and totally reworked it. It’s crazy, I never really thought of myself as a pop artist, they take things and make them so fresh and so new.
Question: Have you been getting messages from your fans on your Twitter page?
Karen Rodriguez: I am constantly updating my Twitter page. It’s funny because they all call me the Twitter Queen. I think that is a great thing they did this year as well since the fans need to be able to connect with us. I want to know what my fans think, I want them to know that I am real. Every single person that has tweeted has said to me that they know this is not the end for me.
Question: Were you planning on incorporating Spanish into your performances each week?
Karen Rodriguez: No, I mean I didn’t want to do that every week, but I felt like I needed to do that first week when America saw me. I would have loved to sing I will always love you in Spanish as well. I wanted to focus that first week on what I could do, because I am an R&B artist as well. I wanted to let America know that only wasn’t a Latin artist. I would have loved to do some up tempo songs, I wanted to do a little of everything.
Question: Is there any standout moment that you will take with you?
Karen Rodriguez: Yes, just the fact that I was able to record I could fall in love and it’s being sold on iTunes. Selena is my idol and her life was taken so fast and she never got to see her songs progress. I wanted to make her proud and keep her memory alive and let everyone know that Latinas are back.
Question: So was Jennifer the one who voted to keep you?
Karen Rodriguez: She said that she’s always been a fan of me since the beginning. I identify myself with her so much, we’re both from New York and we’ve both been doing this so long. I’ve heard that she said she sees herself in me and that is ridiculous, she is my idol. Just having her as a judge it was a crazy experience.
Question: Steven told you that you had the “what-it-is-ness” – how did you interpret that?
Karen Rodriguez: I interpreted that as a good thing from him. Steven always loved that incorporated Spanish into my songs. I feel like I wanted to stand up for my race and my heritage and I am so glad that I did that.
Question: Would you have done anything differently?
Karen Rodriguez: No not at all, I feel like every song I chose was a song that I wanted to sing. I would have just gone up there with more passion and more guts. But honestly, I am very proud that I made it this far especially on the best season ever.
Question: How did it feel to have that support from Jennifer?
Karen Rodriguez: It felt so great, I could really feel the love and I know she has been there before. She struggled her whole life as well to get where she is at, and it’s always been love from her. It was always genuine and it’s a great feeling. I got to sing for her every week, and that was incredible.
Question: Do you think that singing in Spanish may have hurt your votes?
Karen Rodriguez: No not at all. I mean for me, it had to do a lot with the votes but my main focus was always showing people who I am. I can’t control the votes, all I can do is do my best every week.
Question: Tell us about your friendship with Pia, and who you think is going to win?
Karen Rodriguez: Me and Pia used to be in school together and we were in a group and we would write together. Even though she’s older, I have always been like that big sister and be there for her. As far as the competition I feel like everyone has a chance, you never know what America wants.
Best of luck to Karen! Be sure to tune in Wednesday at 8 pm EST as the top 11 take the stage with Motown Classics!
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Photo Credit: FOX