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Artists

If you're looking to dispel some persistent American Idol urban legends, forget about Snopes.com or Mythbusters. This section of the WhatNotToSing.com database is the only place to turn.

Let's start by busting the granddaddy myth of all. "Never sing Whitney Houston", the judges and bloggers bleat repeatedly. Never sing Celine Dion, or Mariah Carey, or Aretha Franklin either. Well, maybe. If you click through to each of those artist pages, you'll find somewhat surprisingly that the better Idols have done OK with them (particularly Aretha.) The divas have been harsh mainly on deluded Semifinalists who mistakenly think they can handle the big girls' material.

So are we suggesting that contestants throw caution to the wind and belt out Saving All My Love For You at every turn? Not hardly. For one thing, we don't want hordes of angry Idol fans, their ears bleeding profusely, massing outside our windows with pitchforks and torches. For another, the naysayers are right — sort of. No matter what popular song you choose, you will inevitably be compared to the original artist. If you can't do Whitney justice (and if you could, chances are you'd have been signed to a record deal eons ago), why go out of your way to advertise this fact to 30 million of your closest friends? But, if you can do a decent Whitney cover, don't let some urban legend stop you.

Two artists who've fared considerably less well on Idol are Brian McKnight and LeAnn Rimes. That duo has combined for exactly one performance of 5-stars or 4-stars thus far, out of 20 rated ones total. We consider this no surprise. Most top amateur singers find it easier to pin back their ears and belt out an over-the-top number than to try to match the complex vocal subtleties of more nuanced artists.

[back to top] American Idol  Artists

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# Artist #Sng #Prf Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
126 Aerosmith0001Aerosmith 5 19
48.7
 
84 7 18.5 2 4 6 4 3
127 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
128 Blood Sweat And Tears0001Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 4
63.3
 
84 38 19.8 0 1 0 2 1
129 Calloway, Cab0001Cab Calloway 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
130 Cleveland, Ashley0001Ashley Cleveland 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
131 Dee, Kiki0001Kiki Dee 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
132 Dion, Celine and Bocelli, Andrea0001Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
133 Francis, Connie0001Connie Francis 1 2
45.0
 
84 6 12.5 1 0 0 0 1
134 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
135 Manchester, Melissa0001Melissa Manchester 1 2
58.0
 
84 32 14.0 0 1 0 0 1
136 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 5 6
48.2
 
84 30 19.2 0 3 1 1 1
137 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
138 Redding, Otis0001Otis Redding 5 15
57.1
 
84 12 18.8 1 3 2 6 3
139 Reeves, Julie0001Julie Reeves 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
140 Rihanna0001Rihanna 5 10
49.3
 
84 9 20.1 2 1 3 2 2
141 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
142 Whitesnake0001Whitesnake 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
143 Wonder, Stevie0001Stevie Wonder 24 65
46.4
 
84 14 18.2 9 18 17 18 3
144 A Great Big World0001A Great Big World 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
145 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 10
47.8
 
83 20 18.3 0 5 1 3 1
146 Judas Priest0001Judas Priest 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
147 Knight, Gladys And Pips0001Gladys Knight & The Pips 3 12
58.9
 
83 11 16.8 1 1 3 6 1
148 Simon, Carly0001Carly Simon 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
149 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
150 Asciutto, Jena Irene0001Jena Irene Asciutto 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 7.0 0 0 0 0 1
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