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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 Holliday, Jennifer0001Jennifer Holliday 2 8
66.9
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 2 3
102 Hooters0001The Hooters 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
103 Horne, Lena0001Lena Horne 1 2
53.0
 
56 50 21.5 0 0 2 0 0
104 Houston, Thelma0001Thelma Houston 1 3
57.0
 
61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
105 Hudson, Jennifer0001Jennifer Hudson 3 8
69.6
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 1 4
106 INOJ0001INOJ 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
107 Jett, Joan And Blackhearts0001Joan Jett And The Blackhearts 2 2
51.5
 
58 45 26.5 0 0 2 0 0
108 Jodeci0001Jodeci 1 6
48.7
 
67 25 19.5 0 2 2 2 0
109 Kelly, R0001R. Kelly 1 5
38.0
 
59 21 21.0 0 3 2 0 0
110 Lady Gaga0001Lady Gaga 4 9
60.7
 
86 34 19.3 0 2 2 4 1
111 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
112 Loaf, Meat0001Meat Loaf 2 4
46.3
 
59 35 18.5 0 2 2 0 0
113 Lonestar0001Lonestar 2 7
37.9
 
61 12 19.4 1 3 2 1 0
114 Lovato, Demi0001Demi Lovato 4 4
42.8
 
62 15 19.8 1 0 2 1 0
115 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 5
56.2
 
72 37 18.8 0 1 2 2 0
116 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
117 Mars, Bruno0001Bruno Mars 6 8
42.5
 
80 14 17.3 1 3 2 1 1
118 Matchbox Twenty0001Matchbox Twenty 2 2
47.5
 
52 43 19.0 0 0 2 0 0
119 McCain, Edwin0001Edwin McCain 2 7
59.1
 
81 22 16.9 0 1 2 3 1
120 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 2 5
68.4
 
82 50 20.2 0 0 2 2 1
121 McGraw, Tim0001Tim McGraw 2 2
45.5
 
46 45 18.0 0 0 2 0 0
122 Morrison, James0001James Morrison 4 4
31.0
 
46 16 20.0 2 0 2 0 0
123 Myles, Alannah0001Alannah Myles 1 2
56.5
 
57 56 25.5 0 0 2 0 0
124 Nilsson0001Nilsson 2 6
50.0
 
82 22 19.8 0 2 2 1 1
125 Potter, Grace and Nocturnals0001Grace Potter and the Nocturnals 2 2
49.5
 
59 40 24.5 0 0 2 0 0
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