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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 Wallis, Shani0001Shani Wallis 1 2
75.5
 
80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
202 Welch, Lenny0001Lenny Welch 1 1
80.0
 
80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
203 Braxton, Toni0001Toni Braxton 1 2
53.5
 
79 28 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
204 Elliman, Yvonne0001Yvonne Elliman 1 1
79.0
 
79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
205 Hansard, Glen And Marketa Irglova0001Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova 1 3
73.7
 
79 65 23.3 0 0 0 3 0
206 James, Etta0001Etta James 4 4
65.0
 
79 58 19.0 0 0 1 3 0
207 Keane0001Keane 1 1
79.0
 
79 79 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
208 Monae, Janelle0001Janelle Monae 1 2
76.5
 
79 74 16.0 0 0 0 2 0
209 Morissette, Alanis0001Alanis Morissette 3 3
61.3
 
79 36 22.0 0 1 0 2 0
210 Police0001The Police 3 8
47.4
 
79 10 18.8 2 2 0 4 0
211 Rascal Flatts0001Rascal Flatts 4 6
55.3
 
79 18 20.2 1 0 2 3 0
212 Styx0001Styx 1 2
55.5
 
79 32 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
213 Sullivan, Jazmine0001Jazmine Sullivan 2 2
71.0
 
79 63 19.0 0 0 0 2 0
214 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
215 Coldplay0001Coldplay 4 5
57.4
 
78 19 18.4 1 0 0 4 0
216 Gaye, Marvin0001Marvin Gaye 4 19
44.6
 
78 11 17.9 4 4 5 6 0
217 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
218 Michael, George0001George Michael 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
219 Weeknd0001The Weeknd 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
220 Williams, Lenny0001Lenny Williams 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
221 Baxter, Les0001Les Baxter 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
222 Cocker, Joe0001Joe Cocker 3 9
58.3
 
77 27 18.6 0 1 3 5 0
223 Diamond, Neil0001Neil Diamond 10 10
43.1
 
77 10 20.1 2 2 3 3 0
224 Hamilton, Roy0001Roy Hamilton 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
225 Hibbler, Al0001Al Hibbler 1 4
44.0
 
77 5 19.0 1 1 0 2 0
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