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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 (3x Performances)

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
101 Redding, Otis0001Otis Redding 5 16
57.3
 
84 12 18.8 1 3 2 7 3
102 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
103 Wonder, Stevie0001Stevie Wonder 25 66
46.6
 
84 14 18.3 9 18 17 19 3
104 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 10
47.6
 
83 18 18.3 1 4 1 3 1
105 Knight, Gladys And Pips0001Gladys Knight & The Pips 3 12
58.9
 
83 11 16.8 1 1 3 6 1
106 Maroon 50001Maroon 5 6 10
48.8
 
83 4 19.8 1 2 4 2 1
107 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
108 Badfinger0001Badfinger 1 5
55.6
 
82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
109 Black Crowes0001The Black Crowes 4 6
54.8
 
82 31 18.7 0 2 1 2 1
110 Carey, Mariah0001Mariah Carey 8 18
49.9
 
82 14 19.9 1 4 8 3 2
111 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 2 7
47.1
 
82 10 19.0 1 0 4 1 1
112 Doors0001The Doors 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
113 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
114 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.2
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
115 Hill, Faith0001Faith Hill 9 11
45.8
 
82 20 17.4 0 6 1 2 2
116 McBride, Martina0001Martina McBride 7 14
57.1
 
82 34 19.4 0 4 3 6 1
117 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 3 6
59.8
 
82 17 20.5 1 0 2 2 1
118 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
119 Keys, Alicia0001Alicia Keys 6 14
47.5
 
81 12 19.4 1 4 6 2 1
120 McCain, Edwin0001Edwin McCain 2 8
59.1
 
81 22 17.9 0 1 3 3 1
121 Sheeran, Ed0001Ed Sheeran 5 5
61.4
 
81 27 17.2 0 1 1 2 1
122 Shinedown0001Shinedown 3 4
55.3
 
81 32 18.3 0 2 0 1 1
123 Supremes, The0001The Supremes 5 11
44.0
 
81 6 16.4 2 2 4 1 2
124 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 8
39.9
 
81 15 16.8 2 2 2 1 1
125 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
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