Exclusive Interview: Q&A w/ Karen Rodriguez

Karen Rodriguez American Idol Season 10

Image courtesy of FOX.

I recently caught up with Karen Rodriguez of American Idol Season 10 before finale to chat about Idol and fashion. She’s crazy #sweet! Keep reading as Karen reflects on LA, the universe and her new found love of shoes.

Q: Has American Idol opened doors for you?

A: American Idol is like a gateway. You’re presented with all these amazing people and contacts… it’s a big blessing. Who can say they have access to people like Jennifer Lopez? That’s just incredible. Some people spend their whole lives trying to build friendships w/ people like that.

Q: What do you think of Los Angeles?

A: I love LA! It’s beautiful, the culture, the food, everything. [Karen lived in LA briefly to study music when she was 17 and currently lives in New York.] [LA has] a little bit of everything [ocean and mountains] and is the perfect mix between business and pleasure.

Q: You seem like a very optimistic woman. What keeps your spirits up?

A: I’m happy and just go with the flow. I try to surround myself with people that make me happy. There’s other things that we should be aware of and that’s why I love reflecting on the universe and planets because we try to take our problems and make them so big. We’re so small compared to everything else that’s happening in the world and outer space.

Q: What are your plans for the future? An album, maybe?

A: I would love to have an album out [but] I feel the best songs that I write are when I feel inspired, not when I’m trying to write a song on the deadline.

Q: What’s on your iPod?

A: A little bit of everything. Jazz and old Spanish music. Ray J, Nas, Jay-Z and Kanye [West]. Pussycat Dolls and Marc Anthony.

Q: Have you been able to connect with your fans on Twitter and Facebook?

A: For sure! I’m always on Twitter [and] I always reply to my fans. The current group [Season 10] called me Queen Tweeter. I’m just a regular person. Musicians do get respect because they’re put on tv [but] I’m just a normal person who likes to spend time with my dogs. (Follow Karen on Twitter!)

Q: What was your favorite (personal) look from American Idol?

A: The green dress that I sang “Hero” in … classy, elegant. What you really taught me was to put my chin up and to not be scared of clothes! On the past [reunion] show I was about to go on national TV wearing [a] tiny, tiny shirt and these leather pants! [But] it’s good to show your fans that you’re versatile [and] can try anything. That’s the fun thing about clothes, switching it around. It’s just fun.

Karen Rodriguez American Idol Season 10 fashion interview

Images courtesy of FOX.

Q: Has your personal style or appearance changed post-American Idol?

A: For sure. Before I would rock jeans and Converses. I’ve always been a tomboy, I like feeling comfortable. [But now] I spend a lot more money on clothes than I ever did before! I was never obsessed with shoes like I am now. Shoes are just awesome! With Idol just looking glamorous is good and feeling pretty is really important [for] women.

Q: Describe your personal style.

A: Old-fashioned… I like the 1950’s pin-up look. Fresh ‘cause I am still young. I like wearing innovative things – back in middle school and high school I used to make my own clothes. [Also] I have to feel comfy so I never wear anything that is too tight or too loose – it has to fit just right. I’m always wearing flats… if I’m out or have to go somewhere I try to get comfy shoes that I can walk in.

Karen Rodriguez American Idol Season 10 finalist fashion

(L) Fox (M) Associated Press (R) via Socialite Life.

Q: Who are your fashion icons?

ABeyonceJennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian.

Q: Do you have any style tips/advice?

A: Find a good bra! That’s really important. Spanx are awesome [and] I never  wore [Spanx] until you. And I always feel better trying on clothes or going shopping when I have some makeup on because that just pulls the whole look together and that gives you more confidence.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A: Egypt or Morocco. I’ve always liked what the women wear. All the fabrics, the different colors… are so beautiful. The type of colors they use there is amazing. The jewelry [is great], and I love how they play up their eyes a lot.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring singers?

AAlways be yourself. I stay true to my culture and roots. [Don’t] be scared. Once you show the initiative everything else [will] fall into place.

Thank you SO much for the chat Karen! You better stay in touch and I’ll miss you!

Exclusive Interview: Q&A w/ Ashthon Jones

Ashthon Jones American Idol Season 10

I recently spoke with my girl Ashthon Jones of American Idol Top 13, Season 10 about fame, fashion and making a statement. There’s no doubt that this girl has style! She seriously loves shopping, believes that skinny jeans are your friend and is a Southern girl at heart. Read on for more #juicy info in my exclusive interview with this girl who wants to be a diva (in a good way!).

Q: How has American Idol boosted your career?

A: I’ve gotten connected with major writers in Nashville and Atlanta to record demo songs to be presented to the labels. It’s amazing. I’m still the same old Ashthon, I haven’t changed. The only thing that’s changed is my hair – I have blonde hair!

Ashthon Jones American Idol Season 10 blonde hair

Ashton and her new blonde locks, from her Facebook fan page.

Q: You seem to be pretty proud of where you come from (Valdosta, GA and Nashville, TN). What do you think of Los Angeles?

A: Los Angeles is a beautiful place. I personally couldn’t live there and have a family. I love the city but I’m a Southern girl.

Q: I read that you have no specific plans for an album. Has this changed?

A: I’m working on an album right now! I go to Atlanta every week and I’m recording there. And I’m about to start acting as well!

Q: If you could perform with a current artist  who would it be?

A: Jennifer Hudson, I’d love to do a show with her.

Q: So you’re on Twitter and Facebook! Have you been able to connect with many of your fans?

A: This has been the most amazing part of being an artist. I try to use [social media] for everything that I need. If I want to promote, if I want [fans] to know about things, I’ll let them know. And I can connect with them, I can tweet them, I can reply to them. (Follow Ashthon on Twitter!)

Q: What was your favorite look from American Idol?

A: My favorite look was [for] the group number of “So What” by Pink. You had [me in] this leather chained [vest (by Amalia Mattaor) that] was so dope! And you had me in this dress that fit to a T, it was perfect. And the shoes [from Hendrick Brun, with the] spike studs in the back that you had me in… it was ridiculous! For us to go on the show and have access to all those designer clothes is just amazing. It’s a girl’s dream.

Ashthon Jones American Idol Season 10 reunion Pink

Image courtesy of FOX.

Q: It seems you were already pretty stylish before Idol. Has your personal style or appearance changed post-American Idol?

A: It has changed. Before Idol I did like to show off my legs and cleavage a lot. Sometimes a woman feels like they have to do that to be sexy. And [from Idol] I found a lot of ways to be sexy with more clothes on. I’ve been dressing like that ever since. I try to find clothes that are inexpensive and clothes that look up to par but still show my curves ‘cause I got a few curves from my mom! So thanks, Mom! I feel like a star. I think about you when I put my clothes on. You told me “if you have like a big, huge bedazzled bracelet on one arm don’t wear a huge ring on the same arm.” That’s something simple but it is not, it’s actually a big thing!

Q: Describe your personal style in 5 words.

A: Fun. Trendy. Pop some days, some days vintage. And classy.

Q: You mentioned you love fashion. Where do you shop?

A: Smack here in Nashville. It’s like an LA store in our own town of Nashville. I love bebe and I love Aldo for shoes. Macy’s [too] and I love Baby Phat. I’m not a picky shopper. If I can go to a store and try my look I don’t care if it has a name brand on it. I love to shop. I’m a firm believer in piecing things together. I love accessories [and] I’m a high heels girl! I get that from my mom ‘cause my mom used to model. I love heels. I feel sexy when I have heels on.

Ashthon Jones American Idol Season 10 fashion dresses

(L) FOX (M) FOX (R) Ashton arriving in LA on May 15, 2011 (from her Facebook fan page).

Q: Who’s your fashion icon?

A: I adore Kim Kardashian. I’m a fan of her clothes, makeup and hair. Mary J. Blige [too]. When I get to her age I wanna have a look just like that. She has become so classy over the years. I’m influenced by a lot of people, though.

Q: Do you have any style tips/advice?

A: Stay away from wide leg jeans! Skinny jeans are your friend. [Also] you don’t have to match every color that you wear; we’re living in 2011 now. Start making a statement with your clothes [and] try to make your shoes pop. [Also] I’m a makeup fanatic. I learned a lot of stuff from the makeup artists at Idol. [Also] I use Jergens’ Natural Glow. There’s little things you can do to have that LA/Hollywood look and it doesn’t cost much at all.

Q: To wrap things up, what advice do you have for aspiring singers?

A: Try to stay away from negative people and negative words [but] if you don’t have haters then you need to step it up. People like Lady Gaga are not millionaires because of everybody else. I do applaud her. You have to be your own artist. There’s media everywhere [and if you’re not] on TMZ or [if somebody’s not] saying this about you… then you aren’t doing something right!

A big THANKS goes to Ashthon for taking the time to chat! Let’s do it again soon, girl! ;)