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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 Midler, Bette0001Bette Midler 4 8
55.5
 
95 15 17.6 1 2 1 3 1
152 Moody, James0001James Moody 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
153 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 5 7
48.0
 
84 29 19.4 0 3 2 1 1
154 Muldaur, Maria0001Maria Muldaur 1 2
78.5
 
88 69 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
155 Nelson, Willie0001Willie Nelson 3 7
66.1
 
86 22 18.6 0 1 0 5 1
156 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
157 Norful, Smokie0001Smokie Norful 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
158 O'Jays0001The O'Jays 2 2
67.5
 
80 55 19.5 0 0 1 0 1
159 Paramore0001Paramore 2 3
61.3
 
90 32 17.3 0 1 0 1 1
160 Payne, Freda0001Freda Payne 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
161 Pet Shop Boys0001Pet Shop Boys 1 5
72.8
 
86 60 20.4 0 0 0 4 1
162 Postmodern Jukebox0001Postmodern Jukebox 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
163 Preston, Alex0001Alex Preston 1 1
86.0
 
86 86 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
164 Prince0001Prince 2 2
60.0
 
81 39 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
165 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
166 Reeves, Julie0001Julie Reeves 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
167 Rice, Damien0001Damien Rice 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 20.5 0 0 0 1 1
168 Richie, Lionel0001Lionel Richie 2 4
54.3
 
90 29 19.0 0 1 2 0 1
169 Ronstadt, Linda And Ingram, James0001Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
170 Ross, Diana0001Diana Ross 9 17
43.4
 
85 8 15.2 3 5 5 3 1
171 Roxy Music0001Roxy Music 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
172 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 5
56.8
 
85 42 18.6 0 0 3 1 1
173 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
174 Sedaka, Neil0001Neil Sedaka 3 5
43.6
 
92 15 15.4 2 1 1 0 1
175 Sheeran, Ed0001Ed Sheeran 5 5
61.4
 
81 27 17.2 0 1 1 2 1
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