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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 Ross, Diana And Richie, Lionel0001Diana Ross & Lionel Richie 1 4
35.5
 
46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
577 Roxy Music0001Roxy Music 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
578 Rubinstein, John0001John Rubinstein 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
579 Ruffin, Jimmy0001Jimmy Ruffin 1 2
31.0
 
35 27 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
580 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 5
56.8
 
85 42 18.6 0 0 3 1 1
581 Rush0001Rush 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
582 Russell, Brenda0001Brenda Russell 1 1
38.0
 
38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
583 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
584 Sam And Dave0001Sam & Dave 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
585 Sandé, Emili0001Emeli Sandé 2 2
51.0
 
60 42 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
586 Sandler, Adam0001Adam Sandler 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
587 Sang, Samantha0001Samantha Sang 1 2
48.0
 
61 35 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
588 Santana0001Santana 1 1
29.0
 
29 29 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
589 Santana And Rob Thomas0001Santana & Rob Thomas 1 1
24.0
 
24 24 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
590 Seal0001Seal 1 2
36.0
 
51 21 24.0 0 1 1 0 0
591 Searchers0001The Searchers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
592 Sebastian, Guy0001Guy Sebastian 1 1
48.0
 
48 48 13.0 0 0 1 0 0
593 Sebastian, Gwen0001Gwen Sebastian 1 1
45.0
 
45 45 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
594 Secada, John0001Jon Secada 1 1
26.0
 
26 26 10.0 0 1 0 0 0
595 Secret Garden0001Secret Garden 1 1
51.0
 
51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
596 Seether0001Seether 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
597 Sheeran, Ed0001Ed Sheeran 5 5
61.0
 
80 27 17.2 0 1 1 2 1
598 Shinedown0001Shinedown 3 4
55.3
 
81 32 18.3 0 2 0 1 1
599 Shirelles0001The Shirelles 1 1
92.0
 
92 92 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
600 Simon And Garfunkel0001Simon & Garfunkel 4 7
58.3
 
86 44 21.3 0 0 4 2 1
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