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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
526 Ides Of March0001The Ides Of March 1 2
79.0
 
88 70 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
527 Idol, Billy0001Billy Idol 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 28.0 0 0 0 1 0
528 Impressions0001The Impressions 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
529 Isaak, Chris0001Chris Isaak 1 1
73.0
 
73 73 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
530 Jackson, Alan0001Alan Jackson 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
531 Jackson, Freddie0001Freddie Jackson 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
532 Jackson, Michael and McCartney, Paul0001Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney 1 1
43.0
 
43 43 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
533 Jagger, Mick And Bowie, David0001Mick Jagger & David Bowie 1 2
56.0
 
67 45 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
534 James, Etta0001Etta James 4 4
65.0
 
79 58 19.0 0 0 1 3 0
535 James, Harry0001Harry James 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
536 James, Parson0001Parson James 1 1
89.0
 
89 89 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
537 Jamiroquai0001Jamiroquai 1 1
73.0
 
73 73 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
538 Jay Z0001Jay-Z 1 1
58.0
 
58 58 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
539 Jefferson Airplane0001Jefferson Airplane 1 2
58.5
 
60 57 23.0 0 0 1 1 0
540 Jennings, Waylon0001Waylon Jennings 1 1
72.0
 
72 72 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
541 Jett, Joan And Blackhearts0001Joan Jett and The Blackhearts 2 2
51.5
 
58 45 26.5 0 0 2 0 0
542 Jobe, Kari0001Kari Jobe 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 26.0 0 0 0 1 0
543 Johnson, Jamey0001Jamey Johnson 1 1
52.0
 
52 52 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
544 JoJo0001JoJo 1 1
42.0
 
42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
545 Jonas, Nick0001Nick Jonas 1 2
35.0
 
62 8 14.5 1 0 0 1 0
546 Jones, George0001George Jones 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
547 Jones, Isham And Orchestra0001Isham Jones and His Orchestra 1 1
76.0
 
76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
548 Jones, Tom0001Tom Jones 1 5
85.4
 
92 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 4
549 Joy, Vance0001Vance Joy 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
550 Judas Priest0001Judas Priest 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
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