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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
151 Knight, Gladys And Pips0001Gladys Knight & The Pips 3 12
58.9
 
83 11 16.8 1 1 3 6 1
152 Maroon 50001Maroon 5 6 10
48.8
 
83 4 19.8 1 2 4 2 1
153 Simon, Carly0001Carly Simon 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
154 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
155 Asciutto, Jena Irene0001Jena Irene Asciutto 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 7.0 0 0 0 0 1
156 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
157 Black Crowes0001The Black Crowes 4 6
54.8
 
82 31 18.7 0 2 1 2 1
158 Carey, Mariah0001Mariah Carey 8 18
49.9
 
82 14 19.9 1 4 8 3 2
159 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 2 7
47.1
 
82 10 19.0 1 0 4 1 1
160 Doors0001The Doors 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
161 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
162 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.2
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
163 Hill, Faith0001Faith Hill 9 11
45.8
 
82 20 17.4 0 6 1 2 2
164 King Pleasure0001King Pleasure 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
165 Lewis, Leona0001Leona Lewis 2 2
48.0
 
82 14 15.5 1 0 0 0 1
166 McBride, Martina0001Martina McBride 7 14
57.1
 
82 34 19.4 0 4 3 6 1
167 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 3 6
59.8
 
82 17 20.5 1 0 2 2 1
168 Moody, James0001James Moody 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
169 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
170 Norful, Smokie0001Smokie Norful 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
171 Ronstadt, Linda And Ingram, James0001Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
172 Keys, Alicia0001Alicia Keys 6 14
47.5
 
81 12 19.4 1 4 6 2 1
173 Los Lonely Boys0001Los Lonely Boys 1 1
81.0
 
81 81 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
174 McCain, Edwin0001Edwin McCain 2 8
59.1
 
81 22 17.9 0 1 3 3 1
175 Prince0001Prince 2 2
60.0
 
81 39 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
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