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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
201 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
202 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 7
57.7
 
78 43 20.3 0 0 4 3 0
203 Coldplay0001Coldplay 4 5
57.4
 
78 19 18.4 1 0 0 4 0
204 Gaye, Marvin0001Marvin Gaye 4 18
46.3
 
78 11 18.3 3 4 5 6 0
205 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
206 Michael, George0001George Michael 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
207 Williams, Lenny0001Lenny Williams 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
208 Baxter, Les0001Les Baxter 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
209 Cocker, Joe0001Joe Cocker 3 8
59.9
 
77 27 19.0 0 1 2 5 0
210 Diamond, Neil0001Neil Diamond 10 10
43.1
 
77 10 20.1 2 2 3 3 0
211 Evanescence0001Evanescence 2 3
69.3
 
77 60 22.7 0 0 0 3 0
212 Hamilton, Roy0001Roy Hamilton 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
213 Hibbler, Al0001Al Hibbler 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
214 Kristofferson, Kris0001Kris Kristofferson 1 1
77.0
 
77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
215 Lovin Spoonful0001Lovin' Spoonful 1 1
77.0
 
77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
216 Perri, Christina0001Christina Perri 1 1
77.0
 
77 77 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
217 Righteous Brothers0001The Righteous Brothers 2 5
38.4
 
77 5 18.0 2 1 0 2 0
218 Rimes, LeAnn0001LeAnn Rimes 9 16
36.9
 
77 5 19.3 1 9 4 2 0
219 Smith, Sammi0001Sammi Smith 1 1
77.0
 
77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
220 Twain, Shania0001Shania Twain 7 10
45.2
 
77 23 22.3 0 2 7 1 0
221 Weather Girls0001The Weather Girls 1 3
45.3
 
77 12 14.3 1 0 1 1 0
222 Womack, Lee Ann0001Lee Ann Womack 1 1
77.0
 
77 77 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
223 Captain And Tennille0001Captain & Tennille 2 4
56.3
 
76 35 18.8 0 1 1 2 0
224 Connick Jr., Harry0001Harry Connick, Jr. 1 1
76.0
 
76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
225 Del Rey, Lana0001Lana Del Rey 1 1
76.0
 
76 76 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
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