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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

Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Artist #Sng #Prf Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
126 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
127 Blood Sweat And Tears0001Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 4
63.3
 
84 38 19.8 0 1 0 2 1
128 Calloway, Cab0001Cab Calloway 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
129 Cleveland, Ashley0001Ashley Cleveland 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
130 Dee, Kiki0001Kiki Dee 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
131 Dion, Celine and Bocelli, Andrea0001Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
132 Francis, Connie0001Connie Francis 1 2
45.0
 
84 6 12.5 1 0 0 0 1
133 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
134 Manchester, Melissa0001Melissa Manchester 1 2
58.0
 
84 32 14.0 0 1 0 0 1
135 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 5 6
48.2
 
84 30 19.2 0 3 1 1 1
136 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
137 Redding, Otis0001Otis Redding 5 15
57.1
 
84 12 18.8 1 3 2 6 3
138 Reeves, Julie0001Julie Reeves 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
139 Rihanna0001Rihanna 5 10
49.3
 
84 9 20.1 2 1 3 2 2
140 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
141 Whitesnake0001Whitesnake 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
142 Wonder, Stevie0001Stevie Wonder 24 64
46.6
 
84 14 18.2 9 17 17 18 3
143 A Great Big World0001A Great Big World 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
144 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 10
47.8
 
83 20 18.3 0 5 1 3 1
145 Judas Priest0001Judas Priest 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
146 Knight, Gladys And Pips0001Gladys Knight & The Pips 3 12
58.9
 
83 11 16.8 1 1 3 6 1
147 Simon, Carly0001Carly Simon 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
148 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
149 Asciutto, Jena Irene0001Jena Irene Asciutto 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 7.0 0 0 0 0 1
150 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
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