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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 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 2 7
47.4
 
82 12 19.0 1 0 4 1 1
152 Doors0001The Doors 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
153 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
154 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.2
 
82 6 16.0 2 1 2 5 1
155 Hill, Faith0001Faith Hill 9 11
45.8
 
82 20 17.4 0 6 1 2 2
156 King Pleasure0001King Pleasure 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
157 Lewis, Leona0001Leona Lewis 2 2
48.0
 
82 14 15.5 1 0 0 0 1
158 McBride, Martina0001Martina McBride 7 14
57.1
 
82 34 19.4 0 4 3 6 1
159 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 2 5
68.4
 
82 50 20.2 0 0 2 2 1
160 Moody, James0001James Moody 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
161 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
162 Norful, Smokie0001Smokie Norful 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
163 Ronstadt, Linda And Ingram, James0001Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
164 Sinatra, Nancy0001Nancy Sinatra 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
165 Keys, Alicia0001Alicia Keys 5 13
46.7
 
81 12 19.1 1 4 5 2 1
166 Los Lonely Boys0001Los Lonely Boys 1 1
81.0
 
81 81 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
167 McCain, Edwin0001Edwin McCain 2 7
59.1
 
81 22 16.9 0 1 2 3 1
168 Prince0001Prince 2 2
60.0
 
81 39 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
169 Shinedown0001Shinedown 3 4
55.3
 
81 32 18.3 0 2 0 1 1
170 Summer, Donna And Streisand, Barbra0001Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand 1 2
72.0
 
81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
171 Supremes, The0001The Supremes 5 11
44.0
 
81 6 16.4 2 2 4 1 2
172 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 8
40.1
 
81 17 16.8 2 2 2 1 1
173 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
174 Vanilla Fudge0001Vanilla Fudge 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
175 Wilde, Kim0001Kim Wilde 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
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