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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
151 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
152 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
153 Supremes, The and Temptations, The0001The Supremes & The Temptations 1 2
54.0
 
58 50 19.0 0 0 2 0 0
154 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 8
39.9
 
81 15 16.8 2 2 2 1 1
155 Train0001Train 2 4
31.5
 
54 9 16.8 1 1 2 0 0
156 Tritt, Travis0001Travis Tritt 3 4
49.3
 
60 35 18.8 0 1 2 1 0
157 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
158 Turner, Ike And Tina0001Ike & Tina Turner 4 11
69.5
 
86 36 18.2 0 1 2 4 4
159 Turner, Tina0001Tina Turner 2 9
38.6
 
80 5 16.7 2 3 2 1 1
160 Turtles0001The Turtles 1 2
53.5
 
56 51 20.5 0 0 2 0 0
161 Vanilla Fudge0001Vanilla Fudge 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
162 Warwick, Dee Dee0001Dee Dee Warwick 1 2
54.0
 
58 50 19.0 0 0 2 0 0
163 Westlife0001Westlife 1 2
49.0
 
51 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 0
164 Wilde, Kim0001Kim Wilde 1 5
49.6
 
81 6 17.2 1 0 2 1 1
165 Adams, Bryan0001Bryan Adams 3 10
51.1
 
84 16 17.8 1 3 1 4 1
166 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
167 Air Supply0001Air Supply 1 1
54.0
 
54 54 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
168 Aldean, Jason and Clarkson, Kelly0001Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson 1 1
43.0
 
43 43 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
169 Allan, Gary0001Gary Allan 1 1
40.0
 
40 40 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
170 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
171 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
172 Art Of Noise And Tom Jones0001Art Of Noise & Tom Jones 1 2
47.0
 
55 39 21.0 0 1 1 0 0
173 Askew, Charlie0001Charlie Askew 1 1
47.0
 
47 47 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
174 Bad English0001Bad English 1 2
33.0
 
42 24 17.0 0 1 1 0 0
175 Band0001The Band 1 1
40.0
 
40 40 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
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