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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 Animals0001The Animals 1 2
84.5
 
94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
127 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
128 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
129 Astaire, Fred0001Fred Astaire 4 8
37.4
 
71 7 18.8 1 3 3 1 0
130 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
131 Benatar, Pat0001Pat Benatar 3 6
52.0
 
80 22 19.0 0 1 3 1 1
132 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
133 Blondie0001Blondie 1 3
39.3
 
60 11 21.3 1 0 1 1 0
134 Box Tops0001The Box Tops 1 3
46.0
 
66 27 18.3 0 1 1 1 0
135 Braxton, Toni0001Toni Braxton 1 2
53.5
 
79 28 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
136 Brown, Bobby0001Bobby Brown 2 2
39.0
 
62 16 17.5 1 0 0 1 0
137 Brown, Chris0001Chris Brown 2 2
40.5
 
65 16 16.5 1 0 0 1 0
138 Brown, Georgia0001Georgia Brown 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
139 Brown, James0001James Brown 1 3
59.7
 
85 24 18.3 0 1 0 1 1
140 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
141 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
142 Busboys0001The Busboys 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
143 Cara, Irene0001Irene Cara 2 5
51.2
 
85 19 17.2 1 1 1 1 1
144 Carlton, Carl0001Carl Carlton 1 3
35.0
 
61 9 17.3 1 1 0 1 0
145 Carmen, Eric0001Eric Carmen 1 5
56.8
 
92 23 15.0 0 2 0 1 2
146 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 4
56.8
 
75 43 27.0 0 0 3 1 0
147 Clare, Alex0001Alex Clare 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
148 Clarkson, Kelly0001Kelly Clarkson 8 13
38.4
 
89 8 14.2 3 6 1 1 2
149 Clovers0001The Clovers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
150 Club Nouveau0001Club Nouveau 1 2
53.5
 
69 38 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
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