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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
126 Turner, Ike And Tina0001Ike & Tina Turner 4 11
69.4
 
86 36 18.1 0 1 2 3 4
127 Crosby, Bing0001Bing Crosby 1 3
69.3
 
80 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 1
128 Tears For Fears0001Tears For Fears 2 4
69.3
 
94 24 17.0 0 1 0 1 2
129 Mimms, Garnet And Enchanters0001Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters 1 1
69.0
 
69 69 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
130 Steppenwolf0001Steppenwolf 1 1
69.0
 
69 69 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
131 Garland, Judy0001Judy Garland 4 13
68.5
 
92 39 19.0 0 1 3 6 3
132 Travolta, John and Newton-John, Olivia0001John Travolta and Olivia Newton John 1 1
68.0
 
68 68 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
133 White Lion0001White Lion 1 1
68.0
 
68 68 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
134 Holiday, Billie0001Billie Holiday 4 9
67.8
 
94 21 17.8 0 1 1 3 4
135 O'Jays0001The O'Jays 2 2
67.5
 
80 55 19.5 0 0 1 0 1
136 Clare, Alex0001Alex Clare 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
137 Dc Talk0001dc Talk 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
138 DeCastro Sisters0001The DeCastro Sisters 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
139 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band0001Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
140 Supremes, The and Four Tops, The0001The Supremes & The Four Tops 1 3
67.0
 
86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
141 Trainor, Meghan0001Meghan Trainor 1 1
67.0
 
67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
142 Vaughan, Sarah0001Sarah Vaughan 1 2
67.0
 
72 62 23.5 0 0 0 2 0
143 Hudson, Jennifer0001Jennifer Hudson 3 9
66.9
 
88 38 18.7 0 1 3 1 4
144 Holliday, Jennifer0001Jennifer Holliday 2 8
66.9
 
88 38 19.0 0 1 2 2 3
145 Dido0001Dido 1 2
66.5
 
88 45 18.5 0 0 1 0 1
146 Nicks, Stevie and Petty, Tom0001Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 1 2
66.5
 
70 63 21.0 0 0 0 2 0
147 Perri, Christina0001Christina Perri 1 2
66.5
 
77 56 22.0 0 0 1 1 0
148 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
149 Nelson, Willie0001Willie Nelson 3 7
66.1
 
86 22 18.6 0 1 0 5 1
150 Jobe, Kari0001Kari Jobe 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 26.0 0 0 0 1 0
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