I'm sure she will have a career, AI will be the stepping stone for her. Karen Rodriguez ('American Idol')
Friday, March 18 2011, 2:35pm EDT
By Jennifer Still, Entertainment Reporter
Finding a unique niche in the competition as a singer who incorporates her Spanish heritage into contemporary pop songs, it was no surprise when Karen Rodriguez secured a spot in American Idol's Top 12. However, a shaky performance of Taylor Dane's 'Love Will Lead You Back' on Wednesday did not prove popular with viewers and she became the second contestant to be eliminated from season 10. However, the 23-year-old insists that this is only the beginning of her career. Here's what she told reporters on Friday...
What did it mean to you to be able to perform Mariah Carey's 'Hero' in both Spanish and English in front of millions of people for your last song?
"It meant the world to me. It's what I've wanted to do my whole life. I've always had a vision of myself as a Latin American artist and to be able to sing a song of that magnitude in both languages on a show like American Idol was so... you know, America has got people from all cultures and it was my way of expressing myself."
What advice did you receive from the judges that you'll take with you as you go further in your career?
"Jennifer's been a fan of mine from the beginning - she told me that it was probably just my time [to go] but I know that she would have saved me if it was only up to her. She was rooting for me. She told me so! But I know that everything happens for a reason and if it was my time to go it's because I have so many amazing things coming soon. Steven and Randy both came to me at the end and gave me hugs and kisses and told me, 'You're amazing, you're going to go far. This is only the beginning', and it made me soak it all up."
What did you learn from working with Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine and the producers?
"Working with the producers was definitely amazing - it's such a smart strategy that they've incorporated in the show. It shows us how our lives are going to change as a recording artist. Eventually we all want record deals out of this show, that's our goal, and having the opportunity to work with these producers is great. Every producer has his own unique flavor. I got to work with Jim Johnson, who wrote Beyoncé's 'Sweet Dreams', and I never would have expected that. He took my Selena song and made it new and exciting. I never saw myself as that pop artist but they turned it into something so fresh and new and that's what the show needed."