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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 Perry, Katy0001Katy Perry 4 5
44.4
 
72 7 18.8 1 1 1 2 0
127 Righteous Brothers0001The Righteous Brothers 2 5
38.4
 
77 5 18.0 2 1 0 2 0
128 Rihanna0001Rihanna 6 15
53.9
 
87 9 20.2 2 1 6 2 4
129 Rimes, LeAnn0001LeAnn Rimes 9 16
36.9
 
77 5 19.3 1 9 4 2 0
130 Ronstadt, Linda0001Linda Ronstadt 4 10
47.8
 
66 34 18.5 0 3 5 2 0
131 Shinedown0001Shinedown 3 6
61.8
 
83 32 17.5 0 2 0 2 2
132 Sia0001Sia 4 8
66.6
 
92 33 16.4 0 2 1 2 3
133 Simon And Garfunkel0001Simon and Garfunkel 5 9
60.6
 
87 44 20.7 0 0 5 2 2
134 Simone, Nina0001Nina Simone 2 11
56.2
 
88 29 20.2 0 3 4 2 2
135 Sledge, Percy0001Percy Sledge 1 8
56.1
 
91 19 18.3 1 1 3 2 1
136 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
137 Stapleton, Chris0001Chris Stapleton 3 3
58.7
 
71 35 16.7 0 1 0 2 0
138 Sullivan, Jazmine0001Jazmine Sullivan 2 2
71.0
 
79 63 19.0 0 0 0 2 0
139 Temptations0001The Temptations 4 15
46.8
 
87 6 17.1 3 3 4 2 3
140 U20001U2 4 8
41.5
 
67 9 19.5 2 1 3 2 0
141 Vaughan, Sarah0001Sarah Vaughan 1 2
67.0
 
72 62 23.5 0 0 0 2 0
142 Warwick, Dionne0001Dionne Warwick 8 17
51.1
 
92 2 16.9 2 3 7 2 3
143 Weeknd0001The Weeknd 1 2
77.5
 
78 77 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
144 Who0001The Who 2 2
72.5
 
76 69 22.0 0 0 0 2 0
145 A Great Big World0001A Great Big World 1 2
72.5
 
83 62 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
146 Abdul, Paula0001Paula Abdul 1 2
34.0
 
64 4 15.5 1 0 0 1 0
147 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
148 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
149 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
150 Allred, Loren0001Loren Allred 1 1
75.0
 
75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
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