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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 Streisand, Barbra0001Barbra Streisand 8 10
62.9
 
91 40 19.5 0 0 4 4 2
577 Stylistics0001The Stylistics 1 1
38.0
 
38 38 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
578 Styx0001Styx 1 2
55.5
 
79 32 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
579 Sullivan, Jazmine0001Jazmine Sullivan 2 2
71.0
 
79 63 19.0 0 0 0 2 0
580 Summer, Donna0001Donna Summer 6 10
44.5
 
86 7 18.4 1 4 3 1 1
581 Summer, Donna And Brooklyn Dreams0001Donna Summer & Brooklyn Dreams 1 1
75.0
 
75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
582 Summer, Donna And Streisand, Barbra0001Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand 1 2
72.0
 
81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
583 Supremes, The0001The Supremes 5 11
44.0
 
81 6 16.4 2 2 4 1 2
584 Supremes, The and Four Tops, The0001The Supremes & The Four Tops 1 3
67.0
 
86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
585 Supremes, The and Temptations, The0001The Supremes & The Temptations 1 2
54.0
 
58 50 19.0 0 0 2 0 0
586 Survivor0001Survivor 1 1
15.0
 
15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
587 Swift, Taylor0001Taylor Swift 1 1
9.0
 
9 9 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
588 Switchfoot0001Switchfoot 1 1
33.0
 
33 33 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
589 Tamia0001Tamia 1 1
38.0
 
38 38 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
590 Tavares0001Tavares 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
591 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 7
43.4
 
81 17 17.7 1 2 2 1 1
592 Taylor, Tiffany0001Tiffany Taylor 1 1
53.0
 
53 53 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
593 Tears For Fears0001Tears For Fears 1 2
87.0
 
94 80 19.0 0 0 0 0 2
594 Tedeschi, Susan0001Susan Tedeschi 1 1
44.0
 
44 44 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
595 Temptations0001The Temptations 4 13
47.9
 
87 6 17.5 2 3 4 1 3
596 Ten Thousand Maniacs000110,000 Maniacs 1 1
21.0
 
21 21 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
597 Them0001Them 1 1
45.0
 
45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
598 Thicke, Robin0001Robin Thicke 1 1
55.0
 
55 55 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
599 Thirty Seconds To Mars000130 Seconds To Mars 1 1
45.0
 
45 45 15.0 0 0 1 0 0
600 Thomas, Carl0001Carl Thomas 1 1
10.0
 
10 10 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
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