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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 Hamilton, Roy0001Roy Hamilton 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
102 Hibbler, Al0001Al Hibbler 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
103 Hill, Faith0001Faith Hill 9 11
45.8
 
82 20 17.4 0 6 1 2 2
104 Holliday, Jennifer0001Jennifer Holliday 2 8
66.9
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 2 3
105 Jackson 50001The Jackson 5 5 13
44.2
 
72 23 19.2 0 5 6 2 0
106 Jodeci0001Jodeci 1 6
48.7
 
67 25 19.5 0 2 2 2 0
107 Kamakawiwo'ole, Israel0001Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
108 Keys, Alicia0001Alicia Keys 6 15
45.7
 
81 12 18.9 1 5 6 2 1
109 Lambert, Miranda0001Miranda Lambert 1 3
60.0
 
72 41 19.7 0 0 1 2 0
110 Legend, John0001John Legend 4 4
72.0
 
86 59 18.8 0 0 1 2 1
111 Lovato, Demi0001Demi Lovato 6 7
48.1
 
73 15 20.1 1 1 3 2 0
112 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 6
60.7
 
83 37 17.8 0 1 2 2 1
113 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
114 Maroon 50001Maroon 5 6 10
48.8
 
83 4 19.8 1 2 4 2 1
115 Mars, Bruno0001Bruno Mars 6 9
44.6
 
80 14 17.7 1 3 2 2 1
116 Matchbox Twenty0001Matchbox Twenty 3 4
56.0
 
66 43 19.8 0 0 2 2 0
117 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 3 6
59.8
 
82 17 20.5 1 0 2 2 1
118 McEntire, Reba0001Reba McEntire 3 3
65.0
 
75 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
119 McLean, Don0001Don McLean 2 4
45.0
 
74 16 15.3 1 1 0 2 0
120 Monae, Janelle0001Janelle Monae 1 2
76.5
 
79 74 16.0 0 0 0 2 0
121 Montgomery, John Michael0001John Michael Montgomery 3 3
51.0
 
65 25 17.7 0 1 0 2 0
122 Morissette, Alanis0001Alanis Morissette 3 3
61.3
 
79 36 22.0 0 1 0 2 0
123 Nicks, Stevie and Petty, Tom0001Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 1 2
66.5
 
70 63 21.0 0 0 0 2 0
124 Perry, Katy0001Katy Perry 4 5
44.4
 
72 7 18.8 1 1 1 2 0
125 Righteous Brothers0001The Righteous Brothers 2 5
38.4
 
77 5 18.0 2 1 0 2 0
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