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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
101 Cyrus, Miley0001Miley Cyrus 3 5
44.4
 
80 6 17.4 1 1 1 1 1
102 Davis, Sammy0001Sammy Davis, Jr. 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
103 Dee, Kiki0001Kiki Dee 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
104 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 2 7
47.1
 
82 10 19.0 1 0 4 1 1
105 Dido0001Dido 1 2
66.5
 
88 45 18.5 0 0 1 0 1
106 Dion, Celine and Bocelli, Andrea0001Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
107 Dixie Chicks0001The Dixie Chicks 3 4
46.3
 
89 7 16.3 2 0 0 1 1
108 Doobie Brothers0001The Doobie Brothers 2 4
48.3
 
80 19 19.0 1 1 0 1 1
109 Doors0001The Doors 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
110 Dylan, Bob0001Bob Dylan 3 5
65.6
 
94 17 16.6 1 0 0 3 1
111 Evanescence0001Evanescence 3 4
73.5
 
86 60 20.0 0 0 0 3 1
112 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
113 Flack, Roberta0001Roberta Flack 1 2
57.5
 
86 29 18.5 0 1 0 0 1
114 Foghat0001Foghat 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
115 Foundations0001The Foundations 1 1
93.0
 
93 93 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
116 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.2
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
117 Francis, Connie0001Connie Francis 1 2
45.0
 
84 6 12.5 1 0 0 0 1
118 Fray0001The Fray 4 4
46.5
 
87 22 19.8 0 3 0 0 1
119 Frijid Pink0001Frijid Pink 1 2
84.5
 
94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
120 Fuel0001Fuel 1 1
92.0
 
92 92 6.0 0 0 0 0 1
121 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
122 Green, Al0001Al Green 1 5
56.2
 
80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
123 Happenings0001The Happenings 1 1
86.0
 
86 86 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
124 Hathaway, Donny0001Donny Hathaway 4 8
60.5
 
88 29 17.6 0 1 3 3 1
125 Hutton, Betty0001Betty Hutton 1 1
95.0
 
95 95 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
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