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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 (3x Performances)

Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Artist #Sng #Prf Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
201 Gaye, Marvin And Terrell, Tammi0001Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 2 7
54.0
 
76 8 16.1 1 0 3 3 0
202 Griffin, Patty0001Patty Griffin 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
203 Hansard, Glen And Marketa Irglova0001Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova 1 3
73.7
 
79 65 23.3 0 0 0 3 0
204 Houston, Thelma0001Thelma Houston 1 3
57.0
 
61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
205 James, Etta0001Etta James 4 4
65.0
 
79 58 19.0 0 0 1 3 0
206 Jones, Tom0001Tom Jones 1 5
85.4
 
92 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 4
207 Kamakawiwo'ole, Israel0001Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
208 LaMontagne, Ray0001Ray LaMontagne 2 4
70.3
 
75 63 18.8 0 0 0 4 0
209 Led Zeppelin0001Led Zeppelin 3 5
83.0
 
93 65 20.4 0 0 0 1 4
210 Legend, John0001John Legend 4 4
72.0
 
86 59 18.8 0 0 1 2 1
211 Lovato, Demi0001Demi Lovato 4 4
42.8
 
62 15 19.8 1 0 2 1 0
212 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 2 5
68.4
 
82 50 20.2 0 0 2 2 1
213 McEntire, Reba0001Reba McEntire 3 3
65.0
 
75 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
214 Montgomery Gentry0001Montgomery Gentry 2 4
60.8
 
70 42 20.8 0 0 1 3 0
215 Morrison, James0001James Morrison 4 4
31.0
 
46 16 20.0 2 0 2 0 0
216 Pet Shop Boys0001Pet Shop Boys 1 4
72.3
 
86 60 20.3 0 0 0 3 1
217 Pickett, Wilson0001Wilson Pickett 2 3
51.3
 
57 46 22.7 0 0 3 0 0
218 Pretenders0001The Pretenders 2 4
60.8
 
93 18 16.5 1 0 1 0 2
219 Rae, Corinne Bailey0001Corinne Bailey Rae 1 3
39.7
 
58 17 17.0 1 0 2 0 0
220 Rascal Flatts0001Rascal Flatts 4 5
52.0
 
79 18 19.8 1 0 2 2 0
221 Robinson, Vicki Sue0001Vicki Sue Robinson 1 5
49.6
 
72 17 20.2 1 0 3 1 0
222 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 5
56.8
 
85 42 18.6 0 0 3 1 1
223 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
224 Simon And Garfunkel0001Simon & Garfunkel 4 6
58.0
 
86 44 21.0 0 0 4 1 1
225 Streisand, Barbra0001Barbra Streisand 8 10
62.9
 
91 40 19.5 0 0 4 4 2
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