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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
201 Led Zeppelin0001Led Zeppelin 3 5
83.0
 
93 65 20.4 0 0 0 1 4
202 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
203 Legend, John0001John Legend 4 4
72.0
 
86 59 18.8 0 0 1 2 1
204 Lennon, John0001John Lennon 2 7
64.7
 
93 39 19.0 0 1 3 1 2
205 Lennox, Annie0001Annie Lennox 1 4
58.0
 
88 29 17.5 0 2 0 0 2
206 Lettermen0001The Lettermen 2 7
41.9
 
71 20 19.6 0 3 3 1 0
207 Loaf, Meat0001Meat Loaf 2 4
46.3
 
59 35 18.5 0 2 2 0 0
208 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 6
60.7
 
83 37 17.8 0 1 2 2 1
209 Martha And Vandellas0001Martha & The Vandellas 3 8
49.0
 
67 34 18.0 0 2 3 3 0
210 Martika0001Martika 1 3
49.3
 
64 39 20.0 0 1 1 1 0
211 Matchbox Twenty0001Matchbox Twenty 3 4
56.0
 
66 43 19.8 0 0 2 2 0
212 Mayer, John0001John Mayer 3 5
36.2
 
60 21 19.6 0 4 0 1 0
213 McBride, Martina0001Martina McBride 7 16
55.2
 
82 34 18.8 0 4 5 6 1
214 McCain, Edwin0001Edwin McCain 2 9
56.4
 
81 22 18.0 0 2 3 3 1
215 McEntire, Reba0001Reba McEntire 3 3
65.0
 
75 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
216 McLachlan, Sarah0001Sarah McLachlan 1 4
50.5
 
61 38 16.5 0 1 2 1 0
217 Melvin, Harold And Blue Notes0001Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 1 5
55.4
 
75 25 20.0 0 1 1 3 0
218 Montgomery Gentry0001Montgomery Gentry 2 4
60.8
 
70 42 20.8 0 0 1 3 0
219 Montgomery, John Michael0001John Michael Montgomery 3 3
51.0
 
65 25 17.7 0 1 0 2 0
220 Morissette, Alanis0001Alanis Morissette 3 3
61.3
 
79 36 22.0 0 1 0 2 0
221 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 5 7
48.0
 
84 29 19.4 0 3 2 1 1
222 Muse0001Muse 2 7
54.4
 
72 37 23.1 0 1 4 2 0
223 Nelson, Willie0001Willie Nelson 3 7
66.1
 
86 22 18.6 0 1 0 5 1
224 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
225 Nixon, Marni And Bryant, Jimmy0001Marni Nixon & Jimmy Bryant 2 4
58.8
 
88 23 15.0 0 2 0 0 2
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