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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
151 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
152 Benatar, Pat0001Pat Benatar 3 6
52.0
 
80 22 19.0 0 1 3 1 1
153 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 6
63.5
 
88 46 18.2 0 0 3 1 2
154 Blondie0001Blondie 1 4
38.5
 
60 11 23.8 1 1 1 1 0
155 Bourg, MacKenzie0001MacKenzie Bourg 1 1
79.0
 
79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
156 Box Tops0001The Box Tops 1 3
46.0
 
66 27 18.3 0 1 1 1 0
157 Braxton, Toni0001Toni Braxton 1 2
53.5
 
79 28 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
158 Brown, Bobby0001Bobby Brown 2 2
39.0
 
62 16 17.5 1 0 0 1 0
159 Brown, Georgia0001Georgia Brown 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
160 Brown, James0001James Brown 1 4
64.8
 
85 24 17.3 0 1 0 1 2
161 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
162 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
163 Busboys0001The Busboys 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
164 Cara, Irene0001Irene Cara 2 5
51.2
 
85 19 17.2 1 1 1 1 1
165 Carlton, Carl0001Carl Carlton 1 3
35.0
 
61 9 17.3 1 1 0 1 0
166 Carmen, Eric0001Eric Carmen 1 6
49.2
 
92 11 15.3 1 2 0 1 2
167 Cascada0001Cascada 1 3
54.3
 
72 36 20.7 0 1 1 1 0
168 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 5
50.6
 
75 26 25.8 0 1 3 1 0
169 Clare, Alex0001Alex Clare 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
170 Clovers0001The Clovers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
171 Club Nouveau0001Club Nouveau 1 2
53.5
 
69 38 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
172 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
173 Collective Soul0001Collective Soul 1 1
61.0
 
61 61 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
174 Como, Perry0001Perry Como 1 1
72.0
 
72 72 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
175 Connick Jr., Harry0001Harry Connick, Jr. 1 1
76.0
 
76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
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