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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
101 Chapman, Tracy0001Tracy Chapman 1 3
74.0
 
90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
102 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 7
57.4
 
78 43 20.3 0 0 4 3 0
103 Cher0001Cher 2 2
34.5
 
46 23 16.5 0 1 1 0 0
104 Chesnutt, Mark0001Mark Chesnutt 1 7
43.1
 
68 13 18.7 1 1 3 2 0
105 Chicago0001Chicago 1 1
27.0
 
27 27 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
106 Clapton, Eric0001Eric Clapton 2 2
18.5
 
28 9 15.5 1 1 0 0 0
107 Clarkson, Kelly0001Kelly Clarkson 8 12
39.7
 
89 8 14.3 3 5 1 1 2
108 Cleveland, Ashley0001Ashley Cleveland 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
109 Cline, Patsy0001Patsy Cline 3 5
43.6
 
56 25 19.0 0 1 4 0 0
110 Clovers0001The Clovers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
111 Club Nouveau0001Club Nouveau 1 2
53.5
 
69 38 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
112 Coasters0001The Coasters 2 2
23.5
 
34 13 14.5 1 1 0 0 0
113 Cocker, Joe0001Joe Cocker 3 8
59.9
 
77 27 19.0 0 1 2 5 0
114 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
115 Cohn, Marc0001Marc Cohn 1 1
35.0
 
35 35 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
116 Coldplay0001Coldplay 3 4
54.3
 
78 19 18.5 1 0 1 2 0
117 Cole, Nat King0001Nat King Cole 7 12
43.3
 
70 14 18.1 1 4 4 3 0
118 Cole, Natalie0001Natalie Cole 2 3
57.7
 
87 26 17.3 0 1 0 1 1
119 Collective Soul0001Collective Soul 1 1
61.0
 
61 61 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
120 Collins, Phil0001Phil Collins 6 16
38.1
 
70 2 16.7 3 4 6 3 0
121 Commodores0001The Commodores 1 2
31.0
 
55 7 13.0 1 0 1 0 0
122 Como, Perry0001Perry Como 1 1
72.0
 
72 72 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
123 Connick Jr., Harry0001Harry Connick, Jr. 1 1
76.0
 
76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
124 Contours0001The Contours 1 1
54.0
 
54 54 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
125 Cook, Kristy Lee0001Kristy Lee Cook 1 1
74.0
 
74 74 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
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