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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 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 4
56.8
 
75 43 27.0 0 0 3 1 0
102 Casinos0001The Casinos 1 1
29.0
 
29 29 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
103 Cassidy, Eva0001Eva Cassidy 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
104 Chaplin, Charlie0001Charlie Chaplin 1 4
35.3
 
48 14 13.8 1 1 2 0 0
105 Chapman, Tracy0001Tracy Chapman 1 3
74.0
 
90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
106 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 7
57.7
 
78 43 20.3 0 0 4 3 0
107 Cher0001Cher 2 2
34.5
 
46 23 16.5 0 1 1 0 0
108 Chesnutt, Mark0001Mark Chesnutt 1 8
41.1
 
68 13 18.1 1 2 3 2 0
109 Chicago0001Chicago 1 1
27.0
 
27 27 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
110 Clapton, Eric0001Eric Clapton 2 2
18.5
 
28 9 15.5 1 1 0 0 0
111 Clare, Alex0001Alex Clare 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
112 Clarkson, Kelly0001Kelly Clarkson 8 13
38.4
 
89 8 14.2 3 6 1 1 2
113 Cleveland, Ashley0001Ashley Cleveland 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
114 Cline, Patsy0001Patsy Cline 3 5
43.6
 
56 25 19.0 0 1 4 0 0
115 Clovers0001The Clovers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
116 Club Nouveau0001Club Nouveau 1 2
53.5
 
69 38 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
117 Coasters0001The Coasters 2 2
23.5
 
34 13 14.5 1 1 0 0 0
118 Cocker, Joe0001Joe Cocker 3 8
59.9
 
77 27 19.0 0 1 2 5 0
119 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
120 Cohn, Marc0001Marc Cohn 1 1
35.0
 
35 35 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
121 Coldplay0001Coldplay 4 5
57.4
 
78 19 18.4 1 0 0 4 0
122 Cole, Nat King0001Nat King Cole 7 12
43.3
 
70 14 18.1 1 4 4 3 0
123 Cole, Natalie0001Natalie Cole 2 3
57.7
 
87 26 17.3 0 1 0 1 1
124 Collective Soul0001Collective Soul 1 1
61.0
 
61 61 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
125 Collins, Phil0001Phil Collins 6 16
38.1
 
70 2 16.7 3 4 6 3 0
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