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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
576 Pickett, Wilson0001Wilson Pickett 2 3
51.3
 
57 46 22.7 0 0 3 0 0
577 Pickler, Kellie0001Kellie Pickler 1 1
75.0
 
75 75 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
578 Plain White Ts0001Plain White T's 1 3
54.0
 
67 41 21.3 0 0 2 1 0
579 Pointer Sisters0001The Pointer Sisters 1 1
49.0
 
49 49 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
580 Postmodern Jukebox0001Postmodern Jukebox 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
581 Potter, Grace and Nocturnals0001Grace Potter and the Nocturnals 2 2
49.5
 
59 40 24.5 0 0 2 0 0
582 Preston, Alex0001Alex Preston 1 1
86.0
 
86 86 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
583 Price, Lloyd0001Lloyd Price 1 1
51.0
 
51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
584 Prince0001Prince 2 2
60.0
 
81 39 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
585 Procol Harum0001Procol Harum 1 1
56.0
 
56 56 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
586 Quietdrive0001Quietdrive 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
587 Radiohead0001Radiohead 1 3
68.0
 
90 28 18.3 0 1 0 0 2
588 Rare Earth0001Rare Earth 2 3
44.7
 
54 32 20.3 0 1 2 0 0
589 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
590 Reed, Jimmy0001Jimmy Reed 1 1
59.0
 
59 59 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
591 Reeves, Julie0001Julie Reeves 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
592 REM0001R.E.M. 1 1
26.0
 
26 26 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
593 Rhett, Thomas0001Thomas Rhett 1 1
51.0
 
51 51 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
594 Rice, Damien0001Damien Rice 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 20.5 0 0 0 1 1
595 Richie, Lionel0001Lionel Richie 2 5
48.0
 
90 23 19.4 0 2 2 0 1
596 Rival Sons0001Rival Sons 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
597 Rivers, Johnny0001Johnny Rivers 1 2
65.5
 
76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
598 Robinson, Smokey And Miracles0001Smokey Robinson & The Miracles 5 14
58.9
 
87 35 21.2 0 1 8 3 2
599 Rogers, Kenny0001Kenny Rogers 2 3
41.0
 
47 29 21.7 0 1 2 0 0
600 Rogers, Kenny and Parton, Dolly0001Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton 1 2
45.0
 
54 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
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