Newly anointed top 13 "American Idol" contestant Karen Rodriguez wowed the audience and judges' panel earlier this week with her performance of Mariah Carey's power ballad "Hero." While her song choice wasn't particularly unusual, the fact that Rodriguez chose to deliver the song in both English and Spanish was.
When MTV News caught up with the bilingual, aspiring "Idol" champ after Thursday's first elimination episode, we asked Rodriguez about her decision to sing in Spanish and what other songs she wants to do in two languages.
"I decided to sing in Spanish because I am a Latina," she explained. "I want to represent for all my Latinos out there. America is a big melting pot, it's not only English, there are so many languages infused in this country and I just wanted to support my race," Rodriguez said. "I have it in my blood, it lives inside me and I have to be who I am."
The 21-year-old went on to say that if America wants her to be the next "American Idol," they have to accept her for who she is. "There's nothing I can do to change that but just be proud," she said of being Latina.
With regard to how often Rodriguez plans to bring out her Latin side and sing in Español, she said it's up to America to decide when and how, but that she has a few artists in mind she'd like to cover.
"I love Juan Gabriel and Juan Louis Guerra," Rodriguez said, before adding that we might hear a few songs from a celebrated Mexican artist. "Selena is my biggest idol," she gushed. "She is my inspiration, she is who I aspire to be."
What do you think of Karen's "Idol" performance so far? Tell us in the comments!
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