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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 Captain And Tennille0001Captain & Tennille 2 5
54.6
 
76 35 20.4 0 1 2 2 0
102 Chaplin, Charlie0001Charlie Chaplin 1 4
35.3
 
48 14 13.8 1 1 2 0 0
103 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
104 Doors0001The Doors 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
105 Feliciano, Jose0001Jose Feliciano 1 3
59.0
 
82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
106 Florence Machine0001Florence + The Machine 2 3
53.0
 
65 47 22.0 0 0 2 1 0
107 Foreigner0001Foreigner 2 3
38.7
 
47 28 18.7 0 1 2 0 0
108 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.2
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
109 French, Nicki0001Nicki French 1 3
61.3
 
73 54 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
110 Gaynor, Gloria0001Gloria Gaynor 2 5
48.0
 
72 23 17.6 0 2 2 1 0
111 Gibb, Andy0001Andy Gibb 1 2
43.5
 
46 41 19.0 0 0 2 0 0
112 Green, Al0001Al Green 1 5
56.2
 
80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
113 Holliday, Jennifer0001Jennifer Holliday 2 8
66.9
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 2 3
114 Hooters0001The Hooters 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
115 Horne, Lena0001Lena Horne 1 2
53.0
 
56 50 21.5 0 0 2 0 0
116 Houston, Thelma0001Thelma Houston 1 3
57.0
 
61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
117 INOJ0001INOJ 1 4
46.3
 
63 25 19.0 0 1 2 1 0
118 Jett, Joan And Blackhearts0001Joan Jett And The Blackhearts 2 2
51.5
 
58 45 26.5 0 0 2 0 0
119 Jodeci0001Jodeci 1 6
48.7
 
67 25 19.5 0 2 2 2 0
120 Kelly, R0001R. Kelly 1 5
38.0
 
59 21 21.0 0 3 2 0 0
121 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
122 Loaf, Meat0001Meat Loaf 2 4
46.3
 
59 35 18.5 0 2 2 0 0
123 Lonestar0001Lonestar 2 7
37.9
 
61 12 19.4 1 3 2 1 0
124 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 6
60.7
 
83 37 17.8 0 1 2 2 1
125 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 7
45.6
 
78 7 19.0 2 1 2 2 0
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