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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
126 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
127 Sullivan, Jazmine0001Jazmine Sullivan 2 2
71.0
 
79 63 19.0 0 0 0 2 0
128 Temptations0001The Temptations 4 15
46.8
 
87 6 17.1 3 3 4 2 3
129 U20001U2 4 8
41.5
 
67 9 19.5 2 1 3 2 0
130 Vaughan, Sarah0001Sarah Vaughan 1 2
67.0
 
72 62 23.5 0 0 0 2 0
131 Who0001The Who 2 2
72.5
 
76 69 22.0 0 0 0 2 0
132 Abdul, Paula0001Paula Abdul 1 2
34.0
 
64 4 15.5 1 0 0 1 0
133 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
134 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
135 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
136 Animals0001The Animals 1 2
84.5
 
94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
137 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
138 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
139 Astaire, Fred0001Fred Astaire 4 8
37.4
 
71 7 18.8 1 3 3 1 0
140 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
141 Benatar, Pat0001Pat Benatar 3 6
52.0
 
80 22 19.0 0 1 3 1 1
142 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
143 Blondie0001Blondie 1 3
39.3
 
60 11 21.3 1 0 1 1 0
144 Box Tops0001The Box Tops 1 3
46.0
 
66 27 18.3 0 1 1 1 0
145 Braxton, Toni0001Toni Braxton 1 2
53.5
 
79 28 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
146 Brown, Bobby0001Bobby Brown 2 2
39.0
 
62 16 17.5 1 0 0 1 0
147 Brown, Chris0001Chris Brown 2 2
40.5
 
65 16 16.5 1 0 0 1 0
148 Brown, Georgia0001Georgia Brown 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
149 Brown, James0001James Brown 1 4
64.8
 
85 24 17.3 0 1 0 1 2
150 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
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