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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 (2x Performances)

Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Artist #Sng #Prf Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
201 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
202 One Direction0001One Direction 1 2
65.5
 
74 57 18.0 0 0 1 1 0
203 Paramore0001Paramore 1 2
76.0
 
90 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 1
204 Perry, Katy0001Katy Perry 4 4
39.5
 
71 7 19.5 1 1 1 1 0
205 Petty, Tom and Heartbreakers0001Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 2 2
48.0
 
70 26 22.0 0 1 0 1 0
206 Plain White Ts0001Plain White T's 1 2
54.0
 
67 41 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
207 Quietdrive0001Quietdrive 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
208 Rice, Damien0001Damien Rice 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 20.5 0 0 0 1 1
209 Rivers, Johnny0001Johnny Rivers 1 2
65.5
 
76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
210 Robinson, Vicki Sue0001Vicki Sue Robinson 1 5
49.6
 
72 17 20.2 1 0 3 1 0
211 Ronson, Mark0001Mark Ronson 2 2
59.5
 
65 54 22.0 0 0 1 1 0
212 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 5
56.8
 
85 42 18.6 0 0 3 1 1
213 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
214 Sandé, Emili0001Emeli Sandé 2 2
51.0
 
60 42 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
215 Sang, Samantha0001Samantha Sang 1 2
48.0
 
61 35 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
216 Seger, Bob And Silver Bullet0001Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band 2 2
44.5
 
74 15 21.5 1 0 0 1 0
217 Shinedown0001Shinedown 3 4
55.3
 
81 32 18.3 0 2 0 1 1
218 Simone, Nina0001Nina Simone 2 8
60.1
 
88 37 20.4 0 1 4 1 2
219 Sledge, Percy0001Percy Sledge 1 7
53.3
 
91 19 18.3 1 1 3 1 1
220 Spiral Starecase0001Spiral Starecase 1 2
42.5
 
67 18 17.5 1 0 0 1 0
221 Stewart, Amii0001Amii Stewart 1 3
40.3
 
69 15 15.7 1 1 0 1 0
222 Stewart, Rod0001Rod Stewart 2 3
44.0
 
70 27 19.7 0 2 0 1 0
223 Styx0001Styx 1 2
55.5
 
79 32 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
224 Summer, Donna0001Donna Summer 6 10
44.5
 
86 7 18.4 1 4 3 1 1
225 Summer, Donna And Streisand, Barbra0001Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand 1 2
72.0
 
81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
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