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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 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 5
56.8
 
85 42 18.6 0 0 3 1 1
577 Rush0001Rush 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
578 Russell, Brenda0001Brenda Russell 1 1
38.0
 
38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
579 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
580 Sam And Dave0001Sam & Dave 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
581 Sandé, Emili0001Emeli Sandé 2 2
51.0
 
60 42 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
582 Sandler, Adam0001Adam Sandler 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
583 Sang, Samantha0001Samantha Sang 1 2
48.0
 
61 35 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
584 Santana0001Santana 1 1
29.0
 
29 29 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
585 Santana And Rob Thomas0001Santana & Rob Thomas 1 1
24.0
 
24 24 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
586 Seal0001Seal 1 2
36.0
 
51 21 24.0 0 1 1 0 0
587 Searchers0001The Searchers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
588 Sebastian, Guy0001Guy Sebastian 1 1
48.0
 
48 48 13.0 0 0 1 0 0
589 Sebastian, Gwen0001Gwen Sebastian 1 1
45.0
 
45 45 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
590 Secada, John0001Jon Secada 1 1
26.0
 
26 26 10.0 0 1 0 0 0
591 Secret Garden0001Secret Garden 1 1
51.0
 
51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
592 Seether0001Seether 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
593 Sheeran, Ed0001Ed Sheeran 4 4
56.3
 
75 27 17.8 0 1 1 2 0
594 Shinedown0001Shinedown 3 4
55.3
 
81 32 18.3 0 2 0 1 1
595 Shirelles0001The Shirelles 1 1
92.0
 
92 92 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
596 Simon And Garfunkel0001Simon & Garfunkel 4 6
58.0
 
86 44 21.0 0 0 4 1 1
597 Simon, Carly0001Carly Simon 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
598 Simone, Nina0001Nina Simone 2 8
60.1
 
88 37 20.4 0 1 4 1 2
599 Simple Minds0001Simple Minds 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
600 Simply Red0001Simply Red 1 4
54.3
 
75 25 20.5 0 1 1 2 0
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