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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
151 Lewis, Leona0001Leona Lewis 2 2
48.0
 
82 14 15.5 1 0 0 0 1
152 Los Lonely Boys0001Los Lonely Boys 1 1
81.0
 
81 81 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
153 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 7
61.6
 
83 37 18.0 0 1 2 3 1
154 Manchester, Melissa0001Melissa Manchester 1 2
58.0
 
84 32 14.0 0 1 0 0 1
155 Manhattans0001The Manhattans 1 1
87.0
 
87 87 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
156 Maroon 50001Maroon 5 6 10
48.8
 
83 4 19.8 1 2 4 2 1
157 Mars, Bruno0001Bruno Mars 6 9
44.6
 
80 14 17.7 1 3 2 2 1
158 McBride, Martina0001Martina McBride 7 17
54.1
 
82 34 19.2 0 5 5 6 1
159 McCain, Edwin0001Edwin McCain 2 9
56.4
 
81 22 18.0 0 2 3 3 1
160 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 3 6
59.8
 
82 17 20.5 1 0 2 2 1
161 Merman, Ethel0001Ethel Merman 1 1
86.0
 
86 86 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
162 Meuse, Jessica0001Jessica Meuse 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
163 Midler, Bette0001Bette Midler 4 8
55.5
 
95 15 17.6 1 2 1 3 1
164 Moody, James0001James Moody 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
165 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 5 7
48.0
 
84 29 19.4 0 3 2 1 1
166 Muldaur, Maria0001Maria Muldaur 1 2
78.5
 
88 69 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
167 Nelson, Willie0001Willie Nelson 3 7
66.1
 
86 22 18.6 0 1 0 5 1
168 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
169 Norful, Smokie0001Smokie Norful 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
170 Oconnor, Sinead0001Sinead O'Connor 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
171 O'Jays0001The O'Jays 2 2
67.5
 
80 55 19.5 0 0 1 0 1
172 Paramore0001Paramore 2 3
61.3
 
90 32 17.3 0 1 0 1 1
173 Payne, Freda0001Freda Payne 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
174 Pet Shop Boys0001Pet Shop Boys 1 5
72.8
 
86 60 20.4 0 0 0 4 1
175 Postmodern Jukebox0001Postmodern Jukebox 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
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