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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 Sinatra, Nancy0001Nancy Sinatra 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
177 Sledge, Percy0001Percy Sledge 1 7
53.3
 
91 19 18.3 1 1 3 1 1
178 Summer, Donna0001Donna Summer 6 10
44.5
 
86 7 18.4 1 4 3 1 1
179 Summer, Donna And Streisand, Barbra0001Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand 1 2
72.0
 
81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
180 Supremes, The and Four Tops, The0001The Supremes & The Four Tops 1 3
67.0
 
86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
181 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 8
40.1
 
81 17 16.8 2 2 2 1 1
182 Three Eleven0001311 2 3
71.7
 
96 56 14.0 0 0 1 1 1
183 Tiffany0001Tiffany 2 2
56.0
 
87 25 12.0 0 1 0 0 1
184 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
185 Turner, Claramae0001Claramae Turner 1 1
80.0
 
80 80 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
186 Turner, Tina0001Tina Turner 2 9
38.6
 
80 5 16.7 2 3 2 1 1
187 Twillie, Carmen0001Carmen Twillie 1 3
55.7
 
89 26 20.7 0 1 1 0 1
188 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
189 Usher0001Usher 3 3
37.3
 
80 5 17.7 1 1 0 0 1
190 Vanilla Fudge0001Vanilla Fudge 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
191 Wallis, Shani0001Shani Wallis 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
192 Washington, Dinah0001Dinah Washington 1 1
90.0
 
90 90 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
193 Welch, Lenny0001Lenny Welch 1 1
80.0
 
80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
194 West, Kanye0001Kanye West 1 1
87.0
 
87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
195 Whitesnake0001Whitesnake 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
196 Wilde, Kim0001Kim Wilde 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
197 Abba0001ABBA 1 1
12.0
 
12 12 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
198 Abdul, Paula0001Paula Abdul 1 2
35.5
 
64 7 15.5 1 0 0 1 0
199 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
200 Adams, Ryan0001Ryan Adams 2 2
43.5
 
46 41 22.5 0 0 2 0 0
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