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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
176 U20001U2 4 7
44.7
 
67 9 20.4 1 1 3 2 0
177 UB400001UB40 1 4
66.0
 
93 21 16.8 0 1 0 1 2
178 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
179 Usher0001Usher 3 3
37.3
 
80 5 17.7 1 1 0 0 1
180 Van Halen0001Van Halen 2 4
36.3
 
67 10 18.8 1 1 1 1 0
181 Westlife And Diana Ross0001Westlife & Diana Ross 1 3
29.3
 
50 14 17.3 1 1 1 0 0
182 Williams, Andy0001Andy Williams 1 3
46.3
 
70 26 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
183 Williams, Robbie0001Robbie Williams 1 3
44.0
 
70 21 17.7 0 1 1 1 0
184 Withers, Bill0001Bill Withers 3 7
59.0
 
90 18 16.9 1 1 1 2 2
185 Zombies0001The Zombies 2 3
50.0
 
71 25 21.3 0 1 1 1 0
186 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
187 Allman Brothers Band0001The Allman Brothers Band 2 3
62.0
 
90 43 19.0 0 0 2 0 1
188 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
189 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
190 Bassey, Shirley0001Shirley Bassey 3 8
80.0
 
92 62 14.5 0 0 0 3 5
191 Beyonce0001Beyoncé 8 10
64.0
 
87 43 18.2 0 0 3 6 1
192 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 5
58.6
 
84 46 19.6 0 0 3 1 1
193 Blondie0001Blondie 1 3
39.3
 
60 11 21.3 1 0 1 1 0
194 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 3
70.3
 
86 54 23.7 0 0 1 1 1
195 Burke, Solomon0001Solomon Burke 1 3
83.3
 
89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
196 Carey, Mariah And Houston, Whitney0001Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston 1 3
62.3
 
70 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
197 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 4
56.8
 
75 43 27.0 0 0 3 1 0
198 Cassidy, Eva0001Eva Cassidy 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
199 Chapman, Tracy0001Tracy Chapman 1 3
74.0
 
90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
200 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 7
57.7
 
78 43 20.3 0 0 4 3 0
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