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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 Bryan, Luke0001Luke Bryan 2 2
42.5
 
45 40 16.5 0 0 2 0 0
102 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
103 Caldwell, Bobby0001Bobby Caldwell 1 2
46.5
 
51 42 17.5 0 0 2 0 0
104 Captain And Tennille0001Captain & Tennille 2 5
54.6
 
76 35 20.4 0 1 2 2 0
105 Chaplin, Charlie0001Charlie Chaplin 1 4
35.3
 
48 14 13.8 1 1 2 0 0
106 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
107 Doors0001The Doors 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
108 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
109 Fleetwood Mac0001Fleetwood Mac 5 9
50.0
 
84 7 18.1 2 1 2 3 1
110 Florence Machine0001Florence + The Machine 2 3
53.0
 
65 47 22.0 0 0 2 1 0
111 Foreigner0001Foreigner 2 3
38.7
 
47 28 18.7 0 1 2 0 0
112 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.2
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
113 French, Nicki0001Nicki French 1 3
61.3
 
73 54 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
114 Gaynor, Gloria0001Gloria Gaynor 2 5
48.0
 
72 23 17.6 0 2 2 1 0
115 Gibb, Andy0001Andy Gibb 1 2
43.5
 
46 41 19.0 0 0 2 0 0
116 Green, Al0001Al Green 1 5
56.2
 
80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
117 Hooters0001The Hooters 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
118 Horne, Lena0001Lena Horne 1 2
53.0
 
56 50 21.5 0 0 2 0 0
119 Houston, Thelma0001Thelma Houston 1 3
57.0
 
61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
120 INOJ0001INOJ 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
121 Jessie J0001Jessie J 5 7
63.1
 
87 26 17.7 0 1 2 3 1
122 Jett, Joan And Blackhearts0001Joan Jett and The Blackhearts 2 2
51.5
 
58 45 26.5 0 0 2 0 0
123 Jodeci0001Jodeci 1 6
48.7
 
67 25 19.5 0 2 2 2 0
124 Kelly, R0001R. Kelly 1 5
38.0
 
59 21 21.0 0 3 2 0 0
125 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
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