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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 Withers, Bill0001Bill Withers 3 7
59.0
 
90 18 16.9 1 1 1 2 2
127 Abdul, Paula0001Paula Abdul 1 2
35.5
 
64 7 15.5 1 0 0 1 0
128 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
129 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
130 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
131 Animals0001The Animals 1 2
84.5
 
94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
132 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
133 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
134 Astaire, Fred0001Fred Astaire 4 8
37.4
 
71 7 18.8 1 3 3 1 0
135 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
136 Benatar, Pat0001Pat Benatar 3 6
52.0
 
80 22 19.0 0 1 3 1 1
137 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
138 Blondie0001Blondie 1 3
39.3
 
60 11 21.3 1 0 1 1 0
139 Box Tops0001The Box Tops 1 3
46.0
 
66 27 18.3 0 1 1 1 0
140 Braxton, Toni0001Toni Braxton 1 2
53.5
 
79 28 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
141 Brown, Bobby0001Bobby Brown 2 2
39.0
 
62 16 17.5 1 0 0 1 0
142 Brown, Chris0001Chris Brown 2 2
40.5
 
65 16 16.5 1 0 0 1 0
143 Brown, Georgia0001Georgia Brown 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
144 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
145 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
146 Busboys0001The Busboys 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
147 Cara, Irene0001Irene Cara 2 5
51.2
 
85 19 17.2 1 1 1 1 1
148 Carlton, Carl0001Carl Carlton 1 3
35.0
 
61 9 17.3 1 1 0 1 0
149 Carmen, Eric0001Eric Carmen 1 5
56.8
 
92 23 15.0 0 2 0 1 2
150 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 4
56.8
 
75 43 27.0 0 0 3 1 0
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