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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 Cooke, Sam0001Sam Cooke 3 7
62.4
 
75 45 21.9 0 0 3 4 0
202 Crosby, Bing0001Bing Crosby 1 3
69.3
 
80 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 1
203 Cyrus, Miley0001Miley Cyrus 2 4
49.8
 
80 6 17.5 1 0 1 1 1
204 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 2 7
47.4
 
82 12 19.0 1 0 4 1 1
205 Dixie Chicks0001The Dixie Chicks 3 4
46.3
 
89 7 16.3 2 0 0 1 1
206 Drifters0001The Drifters 3 4
47.0
 
50 43 19.3 0 0 4 0 0
207 Dylan, Bob0001Bob Dylan 3 5
65.6
 
94 17 16.6 1 0 0 3 1
208 Etheridge, Melissa0001Melissa Etheridge 2 8
49.8
 
69 7 19.1 1 0 3 4 0
209 Evanescence0001Evanescence 2 3
69.3
 
77 60 22.7 0 0 0 3 0
210 Fitzgerald, Ella0001Ella Fitzgerald 6 10
59.1
 
87 9 17.5 1 0 4 3 2
211 Frampton, Peter0001Peter Frampton 1 4
59.0
 
76 48 17.3 0 0 3 1 0
212 French, Nicki0001Nicki French 1 3
61.3
 
73 54 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
213 Garland, Judy0001Judy Garland 4 13
68.6
 
92 40 18.7 0 0 4 6 3
214 Gaye, Marvin And Terrell, Tammi0001Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 2 8
53.6
 
76 8 17.0 1 0 4 3 0
215 Griffin, Patty0001Patty Griffin 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
216 Hall And Oates0001Hall & Oates 3 3
16.7
 
19 15 14.0 3 0 0 0 0
217 Hansard, Glen And Marketa Irglova0001Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova 1 3
73.7
 
79 65 23.3 0 0 0 3 0
218 Houston, Thelma0001Thelma Houston 1 3
57.0
 
61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
219 James, Etta0001Etta James 4 4
65.0
 
79 58 19.0 0 0 1 3 0
220 Jones, Tom0001Tom Jones 1 5
85.4
 
92 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 4
221 Jules, Gary0001Gary Jules 1 3
84.0
 
94 78 16.3 0 0 0 1 2
222 Kamakawiwo'ole, Israel0001Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
223 Lambert, Miranda0001Miranda Lambert 1 3
60.0
 
72 41 19.7 0 0 1 2 0
224 LaMontagne, Ray0001Ray LaMontagne 2 4
70.3
 
75 63 18.8 0 0 0 4 0
225 Led Zeppelin0001Led Zeppelin 3 5
83.0
 
93 65 20.4 0 0 0 1 4
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