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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
76 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
77 Bush, Kate0001Kate Bush 1 1
80.0
 
80 80 25.0 0 0 0 0 1
78 Calloway, Cab0001Cab Calloway 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
79 Cara, Irene0001Irene Cara 2 5
51.2
 
85 19 17.2 1 1 1 1 1
80 Chapman, Tracy0001Tracy Chapman 1 3
74.0
 
90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
81 Cleveland, Ashley0001Ashley Cleveland 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
82 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
83 Cole, Natalie0001Natalie Cole 2 3
57.7
 
87 26 17.3 0 1 0 1 1
84 Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose0001Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
85 Cornell, Chris0001Chris Cornell 1 1
95.0
 
95 95 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
86 Crawford, Michael0001Michael Crawford 1 1
87.0
 
87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
87 Crosby, Bing0001Bing Crosby 1 3
69.3
 
80 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 1
88 Cure0001The Cure 1 2
76.0
 
96 56 14.0 0 0 1 0 1
89 Cyrus, Miley0001Miley Cyrus 1 3
49.7
 
80 6 15.0 1 0 0 1 1
90 Davis, Sammy0001Sammy Davis, Jr. 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
91 Dee, Kiki0001Kiki Dee 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
92 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 1 6
53.3
 
82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
93 Dion, Celine and Bocelli, Andrea0001Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
94 Dixie Chicks0001The Dixie Chicks 3 4
46.3
 
89 7 16.3 2 0 0 1 1
95 Doobie Brothers0001The Doobie Brothers 2 2
49.5
 
80 19 18.0 1 0 0 0 1
96 Doors0001The Doors 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
97 Dylan, Bob0001Bob Dylan 3 5
65.6
 
94 17 16.6 1 0 0 3 1
98 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
99 Flack, Roberta0001Roberta Flack 1 2
57.5
 
86 29 18.5 0 1 0 0 1
100 Foghat0001Foghat 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
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