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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
176 Summer, Donna And Streisand, Barbra0001Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand 1 2
72.0
 
81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
177 Supremes, The and Four Tops, The0001The Supremes & The Four Tops 1 3
67.0
 
86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
178 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 7
43.4
 
81 17 17.7 1 2 2 1 1
179 Three Eleven0001311 2 3
71.7
 
96 56 14.0 0 0 1 1 1
180 Tiffany0001Tiffany 2 2
56.0
 
87 25 12.0 0 1 0 0 1
181 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
182 Turner, Claramae0001Claramae Turner 1 1
80.0
 
80 80 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
183 Turner, Tina0001Tina Turner 2 9
38.6
 
80 5 16.7 2 3 2 1 1
184 Twillie, Carmen0001Carmen Twillie 1 2
70.5
 
89 52 25.0 0 0 1 0 1
185 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
186 Usher0001Usher 3 3
37.3
 
80 5 17.7 1 1 0 0 1
187 Vanilla Fudge0001Vanilla Fudge 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
188 Wallis, Shani0001Shani Wallis 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
189 Washington, Dinah0001Dinah Washington 1 1
90.0
 
90 90 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
190 Welch, Lenny0001Lenny Welch 1 1
80.0
 
80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
191 West, Kanye0001Kanye West 1 1
87.0
 
87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
192 Whitesnake0001Whitesnake 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
193 Wilde, Kim0001Kim Wilde 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
194 Abba0001ABBA 1 1
12.0
 
12 12 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
195 Abdul, Paula0001Paula Abdul 1 1
64.0
 
64 64 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
196 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
197 Adams, Ryan0001Ryan Adams 2 2
43.5
 
46 41 22.5 0 0 2 0 0
198 Adams, Yolanda0001Yolanda Adams 2 2
24.0
 
46 2 11.0 1 0 1 0 0
199 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
200 Air Supply0001Air Supply 1 1
54.0
 
54 54 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
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