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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
126 Francis, Connie0001Connie Francis 1 2
45.0
 
84 6 12.5 1 0 0 0 1
127 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
128 Manchester, Melissa0001Melissa Manchester 1 2
58.0
 
84 32 14.0 0 1 0 0 1
129 Preston, Alex0001Alex Preston 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
130 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
131 Redding, Otis0001Otis Redding 5 15
57.1
 
84 12 18.8 1 3 2 6 3
132 Reeves, Julie0001Julie Reeves 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
133 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
134 Wonder, Stevie0001Stevie Wonder 23 59
45.9
 
84 14 18.1 9 16 15 16 3
135 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 9
50.9
 
83 25 18.6 0 4 1 3 1
136 Judas Priest0001Judas Priest 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
137 Knight, Gladys And Pips0001Gladys Knight & The Pips 3 12
58.9
 
83 11 16.8 1 1 3 6 1
138 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 4 4
55.0
 
83 31 19.0 0 1 1 1 1
139 Simon, Carly0001Carly Simon 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
140 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
141 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
142 Carey, Mariah0001Mariah Carey 8 17
50.8
 
82 14 20.2 1 3 8 3 2
143 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 1 6
53.3
 
82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
144 Doors0001The Doors 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
145 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 2
64.5
 
82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
146 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 10
57.8
 
82 6 16.6 1 1 2 5 1
147 Greenwood, Lee0001Lee Greenwood 2 5
52.0
 
82 21 20.8 0 1 2 1 1
148 Hill, Faith0001Faith Hill 9 11
45.8
 
82 20 17.4 0 6 1 2 2
149 King Pleasure0001King Pleasure 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
150 Lewis, Leona0001Leona Lewis 2 2
48.0
 
82 14 15.5 1 0 0 0 1
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