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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
576 Rivers, Johnny0001Johnny Rivers 1 2
65.5
 
76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
577 Robinson, Smokey And Miracles0001Smokey Robinson and the Miracles 5 14
58.9
 
87 35 21.2 0 1 8 3 2
578 Robinson, Vicki Sue0001Vicki Sue Robinson 1 5
49.6
 
72 17 20.2 1 0 3 1 0
579 Robyn0001Robyn 1 1
20.0
 
20 20 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
580 Rogers, Kenny0001Kenny Rogers 2 3
41.0
 
47 29 21.7 0 1 2 0 0
581 Rogers, Kenny and Parton, Dolly0001Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton 1 2
45.0
 
54 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
582 Rolling Stones0001The Rolling Stones 15 25
53.5
 
88 19 19.4 2 3 10 7 3
583 Ronson, Mark0001Mark Ronson 2 2
60.0
 
66 54 22.0 0 0 1 1 0
584 Ronstadt, Linda0001Linda Ronstadt 4 10
47.8
 
66 34 18.5 0 3 5 2 0
585 Ronstadt, Linda And Ingram, James0001Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
586 Rose Royce0001Rose Royce 1 1
43.0
 
43 43 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
587 Ross, Diana0001Diana Ross 10 18
44.6
 
85 8 15.7 3 5 5 4 1
588 Ross, Diana And Richie, Lionel0001Diana Ross & Lionel Richie 1 4
35.5
 
46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
589 Roxy Music0001Roxy Music 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
590 Rubinstein, John0001John Rubinstein 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
591 Rucker, Darius0001Darius Rucker 2 2
24.0
 
36 12 16.0 1 1 0 0 0
592 Ruffin, Jimmy0001Jimmy Ruffin 1 2
31.0
 
35 27 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
593 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 6
54.0
 
85 40 18.3 0 0 4 1 1
594 Rush0001Rush 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
595 Russell, Brenda0001Brenda Russell 1 1
38.0
 
38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
596 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
597 Sam And Dave0001Sam and Dave 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
598 Sandé, Emili0001Emeli Sandé 2 2
51.0
 
60 42 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
599 Sandler, Adam0001Adam Sandler 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
600 Sang, Samantha0001Samantha Sang 1 2
48.0
 
61 35 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
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