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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
101 Keys, Alicia0001Alicia Keys 6 14
47.5
 
81 12 19.4 1 4 6 2 1
102 Lambert, Miranda0001Miranda Lambert 1 3
60.0
 
72 41 19.7 0 0 1 2 0
103 Legend, John0001John Legend 4 4
72.0
 
86 59 18.8 0 0 1 2 1
104 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 5
56.2
 
72 37 18.8 0 1 2 2 0
105 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
106 Maroon 50001Maroon 5 6 10
48.8
 
83 4 19.8 1 2 4 2 1
107 Mars, Bruno0001Bruno Mars 6 9
44.6
 
80 14 17.7 1 3 2 2 1
108 Matchbox Twenty0001Matchbox Twenty 3 4
56.0
 
66 43 19.8 0 0 2 2 0
109 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 3 6
59.8
 
82 17 20.5 1 0 2 2 1
110 McEntire, Reba0001Reba McEntire 3 3
65.0
 
75 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
111 McLean, Don0001Don McLean 2 4
45.0
 
74 16 15.3 1 1 0 2 0
112 Melvin, Harold And Blue Notes0001Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 1 4
54.3
 
75 25 20.5 0 1 1 2 0
113 Monae, Janelle0001Janelle Monae 1 2
76.5
 
79 74 16.0 0 0 0 2 0
114 Montgomery, John Michael0001John Michael Montgomery 3 3
51.0
 
65 25 17.7 0 1 0 2 0
115 Morissette, Alanis0001Alanis Morissette 3 3
61.3
 
79 36 22.0 0 1 0 2 0
116 Muse0001Muse 2 7
54.4
 
72 37 23.1 0 1 4 2 0
117 Nicks, Stevie and Petty, Tom0001Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 1 2
66.5
 
70 63 21.0 0 0 0 2 0
118 Righteous Brothers0001The Righteous Brothers 2 5
38.4
 
77 5 18.0 2 1 0 2 0
119 Rihanna0001Rihanna 5 10
49.3
 
86 9 20.1 2 1 3 2 2
120 Rimes, LeAnn0001LeAnn Rimes 9 16
36.9
 
77 5 19.3 1 9 4 2 0
121 Ronstadt, Linda0001Linda Ronstadt 4 10
47.8
 
66 34 18.5 0 3 5 2 0
122 Sheeran, Ed0001Ed Sheeran 5 5
61.4
 
81 27 17.2 0 1 1 2 1
123 Simon And Garfunkel0001Simon & Garfunkel 4 7
58.4
 
86 44 21.3 0 0 4 2 1
124 Simply Red0001Simply Red 1 4
54.3
 
75 25 20.5 0 1 1 2 0
125 Smith, Sam0001Sam Smith 2 2
64.0
 
68 60 21.5 0 0 0 2 0
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