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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
251 Underwood, Carrie0001Carrie Underwood 8 12
57.8
 
86 32 18.6 0 2 5 3 2
252 Cole, Natalie0001Natalie Cole 2 3
57.7
 
87 26 17.3 0 1 0 1 1
253 Flack, Roberta0001Roberta Flack 1 2
57.5
 
86 29 18.5 0 1 0 0 1
254 Coldplay0001Coldplay 4 5
57.4
 
78 19 18.4 1 0 0 4 0
255 Incubus0001Incubus 1 3
57.3
 
90 29 18.0 0 1 1 0 1
256 Redding, Otis0001Otis Redding 5 16
57.3
 
84 12 18.8 1 3 2 7 3
257 McBride, Martina0001Martina McBride 7 14
57.1
 
82 34 19.4 0 4 3 6 1
258 Campbell, Tevin0001Tevin Campbell 1 1
57.0
 
57 57 23.0 0 0 1 0 0
259 Drake0001Drake 1 1
57.0
 
57 57 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
260 Houston, Thelma0001Thelma Houston 1 3
57.0
 
61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
261 Martin, Dean0001Dean Martin 1 1
57.0
 
57 57 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
262 Carmen, Eric0001Eric Carmen 1 6
56.8
 
92 23 15.0 0 2 0 1 2
263 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 5
56.8
 
85 42 18.6 0 0 3 1 1
264 Cash, Johnny0001Johnny Cash 3 4
56.8
 
75 43 27.0 0 0 3 1 0
265 Presley, Elvis0001Elvis Presley 18 40
56.7
 
93 14 19.7 1 9 12 10 8
266 Myles, Alannah0001Alannah Myles 1 2
56.5
 
57 56 25.5 0 0 2 0 0
267 Joel, Billy0001Billy Joel 18 27
56.3
 
91 8 18.5 1 4 10 10 2
268 Green, Al0001Al Green 1 5
56.2
 
80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
269 Lynyrd Skynyrd0001Lynyrd Skynyrd 3 5
56.2
 
72 37 18.8 0 1 2 2 0
270 Vandross, Luther0001Luther Vandross 6 17
56.2
 
92 17 17.6 1 6 3 3 4
271 Jagger, Mick And Bowie, David0001Mick Jagger & David Bowie 1 2
56.0
 
67 45 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
272 Matchbox Twenty0001Matchbox Twenty 3 4
56.0
 
66 43 19.8 0 0 2 2 0
273 Procol Harum0001Procol Harum 1 1
56.0
 
56 56 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
274 Tiffany0001Tiffany 2 2
56.0
 
87 25 12.0 0 1 0 0 1
275 Tyler, Bonnie0001Bonnie Tyler 3 5
56.0
 
73 42 18.8 0 0 4 1 0
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