HitFix: How much do you anticipate Spanish being a part of what you do on "Idol"?
Karen Rodriguez: Spanish is as much of a part of what I do as a singer as it is of me. It's a part of me. I feel that if America wants to fall in love with me, they have to fall in love with all of me and that includes me being a Latina. I have so much pride for my people and thank you so much for all the support!
HitFix: Which language did you grow up singing in?
KR: You know, I started singing in Spanish.
HitFix: It's interesting how much better your enunciation and phrasing seem to be in Spanish.
KR: Yeah! Well, I love both. I feel like there's no one right now doing the type of music that's American, like R&B, blues. There's not a singer right now who's doing the Spanish and that's who I want to be. Something that Randy told me, he said, "You sound so much better in Spanish, because we can hear the passion." So what I'm trying to work on is to have the same amount of passion in both, in English and Spanish, as if I were singing only in Spanish.
HitFix: How much do you feel like that might limit you in terms of what you can sing?
RK: I don't want to sing everything in Spanish, because I don't want to let my American fans down. You know, they're like, "We don't understand!" But people have been so amazing. They've been writing things like, "We don't care what language she sings in! We just want more of her." Music is universal. It doesn't matter what language I sing in as long as they really support me and love my voice. That's all that I care about.
HitFix: The show has had Allison Iraheta and a few other more quickly eliminated contestants who could sing in Spanish, but didn't. Otherwise, there's no real precedent for it.
KR: Right. And that's who I want to be. I want to be known as That Girl Who's Taking Risks on "American Idol." At the end of the day, if because I sang a Spanish song, I don't make 'em through, then I'm just so happy and satisfied that in the time that I had on "Idol," I made it known that this is who I am.
HitFix: Is there anything you can do to mobilize that fanbase?
KR: I would love to keep singing in Spanish. I would love to do that. I would love to take on bigger songs and even write my own verses in Spanish to show the songwriting part of me. I just want to keep doing that.
HitFix: Songwriting is something that's important for you?
RK: Yeah. I go to Berklee College of Music and I major in songwriting, so I've been writing since I was 14.
HitFix: So if you got the chance, you'd do originals, even if that were a risk?
RK: Oh definitely. I want to show every talent that I have here. That's definitely one of my biggest talents, I believe, because it comes from my heart and I write about things that actually happen to me. And I write in Spanish and English.