A Latina with Soul- And She’s Bi (Bilingual and Bicultural)!


Karen Rodriguez on American Idol (Season 10) is Bilingual and Bicultural!

There is no doubt in my mind that American Idol’s 10th Season is perhaps the most talent-charged and exciting season yet. The contestants this year are truly talented young singers and choosing my top contestants has been perplexing at best, and challenging at worse.  Also worth mentioning is the great chemistry that is unfolding on national television between the debutant judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez with veteran judge Randy Jackson; guess Idol can survive without space cadet and messy Paula Abdul and cranky yet brutally honest Simon Cowell, who knew?  But what’s even more exciting about this new Idol serving is that we finally have  a worthy Latina on the show, who seems to slowly but surely be coming out of her shell and is showing America that she can really sing, not only in English but also in her native Spanish language.  While I must admit that at first I was a bit concerned with her “Selena-esque” tendencies, I’m glad she chose to do Taylor Dayne’s Love Will Lead You Back as the tune from the year she was born.  What I love about Karen is the pride she has for her culture and heritage, and while it may seem that she over does the Latin thing at times, well, I’m glad she’s doing it.  Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S., and Karen is letting the rest of White and Black America know that we’re not invisible and that we can be as American as Chevy and apple pie, yet be bicultural and bilingual.  So tonight, Karen did just that, and just as everyone thought she was belting out Taylor Dayne’s tune in English only, she ensured to throw her Latin signature with Mexican pop diva Yuri‘s Spanish lyrics of her own version Quien Eres Tu towards the end of the song.  Karen may be the Nuovo Latino, but continues the rich tradition of bilingual performers that came before her like Desi Arnaz, Richie Valens, Gloria Estefan, Mellow Man Ace, Los Lobos, and Carlos Santana to name a few.  Karen, you make us all very proud, so “echa pa’lante” girl!  (Other faves to look out for: Jacob Lusk, James Durbin, Stefano Langone, Pia Toscano, Naima Adedapo and Casey Abrams).

Taylor Dayne

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