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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 Sia0001Sia 4 8
66.6
 
92 33 16.4 0 2 1 2 3
152 Dido0001Dido 1 2
66.5
 
88 45 18.5 0 0 1 0 1
153 Nicks, Stevie and Petty, Tom0001Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 1 2
66.5
 
70 63 21.0 0 0 0 2 0
154 Perri, Christina0001Christina Perri 1 2
66.5
 
77 56 22.0 0 0 1 1 0
155 Russell, Leon0001Leon Russell 1 4
66.5
 
88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
156 Nelson, Willie0001Willie Nelson 3 7
66.1
 
86 22 18.6 0 1 0 5 1
157 Harris, Phil0001Phil Harris 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
158 Jobe, Kari0001Kari Jobe 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 26.0 0 0 0 1 0
159 Sandler, Adam0001Adam Sandler 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
160 UB400001UB40 1 4
66.0
 
93 21 16.8 0 1 0 1 2
161 Vera, Billy And Beaters0001Billy Vera and the Beaters 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
162 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
163 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
164 Rivers, Johnny0001Johnny Rivers 1 2
65.5
 
76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
165 Hudson, Jennifer0001Jennifer Hudson 3 10
65.2
 
88 38 19.1 0 1 4 1 4
166 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
167 Darin, Bobby0001Bobby Darin 1 2
65.0
 
72 58 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
168 Heatwave0001Heatwave 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
169 Holliday, Jennifer0001Jennifer Holliday 2 9
65.0
 
88 38 19.4 0 1 3 2 3
170 Jackson, Alan0001Alan Jackson 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
171 James, Etta0001Etta James 4 4
65.0
 
79 58 19.0 0 0 1 3 0
172 McEntire, Reba0001Reba McEntire 3 3
65.0
 
75 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
173 Prince0001Prince 5 7
64.9
 
89 32 16.9 0 2 1 1 3
174 Brown, James0001James Brown 1 4
64.8
 
85 24 17.3 0 1 0 1 2
175 Lennon, John0001John Lennon 2 7
64.7
 
93 39 19.0 0 1 3 1 2
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