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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

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
101 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
102 Florence Machine0001Florence + The Machine 2 3
53.0
 
65 47 22.0 0 0 2 1 0
103 Foreigner0001Foreigner 2 3
38.7
 
47 28 18.7 0 1 2 0 0
104 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.2
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
105 French, Nicki0001Nicki French 1 3
61.3
 
73 54 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
106 Gaynor, Gloria0001Gloria Gaynor 2 5
48.0
 
72 23 17.6 0 2 2 1 0
107 Gibb, Andy0001Andy Gibb 1 2
43.5
 
46 41 19.0 0 0 2 0 0
108 Green, Al0001Al Green 1 5
56.2
 
80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
109 Holliday, Jennifer0001Jennifer Holliday 2 8
66.9
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 2 3
110 Hooters0001The Hooters 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
111 Horne, Lena0001Lena Horne 1 2
53.0
 
56 50 21.5 0 0 2 0 0
112 Houston, Thelma0001Thelma Houston 1 3
57.0
 
61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
113 INOJ0001INOJ 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
114 Jett, Joan And Blackhearts0001Joan Jett And The Blackhearts 2 2
51.5
 
58 45 26.5 0 0 2 0 0
115 Jodeci0001Jodeci 1 6
48.7
 
67 25 19.5 0 2 2 2 0
116 Kelly, R0001R. Kelly 1 5
38.0
 
59 21 21.0 0 3 2 0 0
117 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
118 Loaf, Meat0001Meat Loaf 2 4
46.3
 
59 35 18.5 0 2 2 0 0
119 Lonestar0001Lonestar 2 7
37.9
 
61 12 19.4 1 3 2 1 0
120 Lovato, Demi0001Demi Lovato 5 5
41.8
 
62 15 20.4 1 1 2 1 0
121 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 5
56.2
 
72 37 18.8 0 1 2 2 0
122 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
123 Mars, Bruno0001Bruno Mars 6 9
44.6
 
80 14 17.7 1 3 2 2 1
124 Matchbox Twenty0001Matchbox Twenty 3 4
56.0
 
66 43 19.8 0 0 2 2 0
125 McCartney, Paul0001Paul McCartney 3 6
59.8
 
82 17 20.5 1 0 2 2 1
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