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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 Carey, Mariah0001Mariah Carey 8 18
50.0
 
82 14 19.9 1 4 8 3 2
152 Cher0001Cher 3 3
50.3
 
82 23 15.0 0 1 1 0 1
153 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 2 7
47.4
 
82 12 19.0 1 0 4 1 1
154 Doors0001The Doors 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
155 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
156 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.5
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
157 Hill, Faith0001Faith Hill 9 11
45.8
 
82 20 17.4 0 6 1 2 2
158 King Pleasure0001King Pleasure 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
159 Lewis, Leona0001Leona Lewis 2 2
48.0
 
82 14 15.5 1 0 0 0 1
160 McBride, Martina0001Martina McBride 7 14
57.1
 
82 34 19.4 0 4 3 6 1
161 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 3 6
60.2
 
82 19 20.5 1 0 2 2 1
162 Moody, James0001James Moody 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
163 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
164 Norful, Smokie0001Smokie Norful 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
165 Ronstadt, Linda And Ingram, James0001Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
166 Sinatra, Nancy0001Nancy Sinatra 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
167 Keys, Alicia0001Alicia Keys 5 13
46.7
 
81 12 19.1 1 4 5 2 1
168 Los Lonely Boys0001Los Lonely Boys 1 1
81.0
 
81 81 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
169 Maroon 50001Maroon 5 6 9
48.7
 
81 4 19.8 1 2 3 2 1
170 McCain, Edwin0001Edwin McCain 2 7
59.1
 
81 22 16.9 0 1 2 3 1
171 Prince0001Prince 2 2
60.0
 
81 39 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
172 Shinedown0001Shinedown 3 4
55.3
 
81 32 18.3 0 2 0 1 1
173 Summer, Donna And Streisand, Barbra0001Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand 1 2
72.0
 
81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
174 Supremes, The0001The Supremes 5 11
44.0
 
81 6 16.4 2 2 4 1 2
175 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 8
40.1
 
81 17 16.8 2 2 2 1 1
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