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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 Foundations0001The Foundations 1 1
93.0
 
93 93 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
102 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 10
57.8
 
82 6 16.6 1 1 2 5 1
103 Francis, Connie0001Connie Francis 1 2
45.0
 
84 6 12.5 1 0 0 0 1
104 Fray0001The Fray 3 3
49.3
 
87 23 18.3 0 2 0 0 1
105 Frijid Pink0001Frijid Pink 1 2
84.5
 
94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
106 Fuel0001Fuel 1 1
92.0
 
92 92 6.0 0 0 0 0 1
107 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
108 Green, Al0001Al Green 1 5
56.2
 
80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
109 Greenwood, Lee0001Lee Greenwood 2 5
52.0
 
82 21 20.8 0 1 2 1 1
110 Happenings0001The Happenings 1 1
86.0
 
86 86 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
111 Hathaway, Donny0001Donny Hathaway 4 8
60.5
 
88 29 17.6 0 1 3 3 1
112 Hawkins, Screamin' Jay0001Screamin' Jay Hawkins 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
113 Hutton, Betty0001Betty Hutton 1 1
95.0
 
95 95 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
114 Ides Of March0001The Ides Of March 1 2
79.0
 
88 70 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
115 Impressions0001The Impressions 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
116 Incubus0001Incubus 1 2
59.5
 
90 29 16.5 0 1 0 0 1
117 James, Harry0001Harry James 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
118 Joplin, Janis0001Janis Joplin 3 9
60.6
 
85 38 19.6 0 1 4 3 1
119 Journey0001Journey 3 7
54.7
 
85 37 17.6 0 1 4 1 1
120 Judas Priest0001Judas Priest 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
121 Keys, Alicia0001Alicia Keys 5 13
46.7
 
81 12 19.1 1 4 5 2 1
122 King Pleasure0001King Pleasure 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
123 Knight, Gladys And Pips0001Gladys Knight & The Pips 3 12
58.9
 
83 11 16.8 1 1 3 6 1
124 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
125 Legend, John0001John Legend 4 4
72.3
 
86 59 18.8 0 0 1 2 1
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