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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
51 Raitt, Bonnie0001Bonnie Raitt 3 10
55.8
 
85 9 19.2 1 1 2 4 2
52 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
53 Streisand, Barbra0001Barbra Streisand 8 10
62.9
 
91 40 19.5 0 0 4 4 2
54 Supremes, The0001The Supremes 5 11
44.0
 
81 6 16.4 2 2 4 1 2
55 Tears For Fears0001Tears For Fears 1 2
87.0
 
94 80 19.0 0 0 0 0 2
56 UB400001UB40 1 4
66.0
 
93 21 16.8 0 1 0 1 2
57 Underwood, Carrie0001Carrie Underwood 8 12
57.8
 
86 32 18.6 0 2 5 3 2
58 Withers, Bill0001Bill Withers 3 7
59.0
 
90 18 16.9 1 1 1 2 2
59 A Great Big World0001A Great Big World 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
60 Adams, Bryan0001Bryan Adams 3 9
53.0
 
84 16 17.6 1 2 1 4 1
61 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
62 Allman Brothers Band0001The Allman Brothers Band 2 3
62.0
 
90 43 19.0 0 0 2 0 1
63 Animals0001The Animals 1 2
84.5
 
94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
64 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
65 Asciutto, Jena Irene0001Jena Irene Asciutto 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 7.0 0 0 0 0 1
66 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
67 Badlands0001Badlands 1 1
94.0
 
94 94 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
68 Baker, Chet0001Chet Baker 1 5
66.2
 
92 43 18.8 0 0 2 2 1
69 Bee Gees0001The Bee Gees 9 17
51.9
 
87 19 19.5 1 4 6 5 1
70 Benatar, Pat0001Pat Benatar 3 6
52.0
 
80 22 19.0 0 1 3 1 1
71 Beyonce0001Beyoncé 8 10
64.0
 
87 43 18.2 0 0 3 6 1
72 Black Crowes0001The Black Crowes 4 6
54.8
 
82 31 18.7 0 2 1 2 1
73 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
74 Blood Sweat And Tears0001Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 4
63.3
 
84 38 19.8 0 1 0 2 1
75 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 9
50.9
 
83 25 18.6 0 4 1 3 1
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