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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
551 Paul, Billy0001Billy Paul 1 1
42.0
 
42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
552 Payne, Freda0001Freda Payne 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
553 Perkins, Carl0001Carl Perkins 1 1
41.0
 
41 41 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
554 Perry, Steve0001Steve Perry 1 1
64.0
 
64 64 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
555 Pet Shop Boys0001Pet Shop Boys 1 3
71.0
 
86 60 20.3 0 0 0 2 1
556 Pickett, Wilson0001Wilson Pickett 2 3
51.3
 
57 46 22.7 0 0 3 0 0
557 Pickler, Kellie0001Kellie Pickler 1 1
75.0
 
75 75 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
558 Plain White Ts0001Plain White T's 1 2
54.0
 
67 41 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
559 Pointer Sisters0001The Pointer Sisters 1 1
49.0
 
49 49 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
560 Potter, Grace and Nocturnals0001Grace Potter and the Nocturnals 2 2
49.5
 
59 40 24.5 0 0 2 0 0
561 Preston, Alex0001Alex Preston 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
562 Pretenders0001The Pretenders 2 4
60.8
 
93 18 16.5 1 0 1 0 2
563 Price, Lloyd0001Lloyd Price 1 1
51.0
 
51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
564 Procol Harum0001Procol Harum 1 1
56.0
 
56 56 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
565 Radiohead0001Radiohead 1 1
90.0
 
90 90 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
566 Rae, Corinne Bailey0001Corinne Bailey Rae 1 3
39.7
 
58 17 17.0 1 0 2 0 0
567 Rascal Flatts0001Rascal Flatts 4 5
52.0
 
79 18 19.8 1 0 2 2 0
568 Red Hot Chili Peppers0001Red Hot Chili Peppers 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
569 Reed, Jimmy0001Jimmy Reed 1 1
59.0
 
59 59 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
570 Reeves, Julie0001Julie Reeves 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
571 Rice, Damien0001Damien Rice 1 2
75.0
 
80 70 20.5 0 0 0 1 1
572 Rival Sons0001Rival Sons 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
573 Rivers, Johnny0001Johnny Rivers 1 2
65.5
 
76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
574 Robinson, Vicki Sue0001Vicki Sue Robinson 1 5
49.6
 
72 17 20.2 1 0 3 1 0
575 Ronstadt, Linda And Ingram, James0001Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram 1 1
82.0
 
82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
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