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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 UB400001UB40 1 4
66.0
 
93 21 16.8 0 1 0 1 2
152 Vera, Billy And Beaters0001Billy Vera & The Beaters 1 1
66.0
 
66 66 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
153 Dylan, Bob0001Bob Dylan 3 5
65.6
 
94 17 16.6 1 0 0 3 1
154 Buckley, Jeff0001Jeff Buckley 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
155 Cohen, Leonard0001Leonard Cohen 1 4
65.5
 
86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
156 Rivers, Johnny0001Johnny Rivers 1 2
65.5
 
76 55 17.0 0 0 1 1 0
157 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
158 Darin, Bobby0001Bobby Darin 1 2
65.0
 
72 58 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
159 Heatwave0001Heatwave 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
160 Jackson, Alan0001Alan Jackson 1 1
65.0
 
65 65 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
161 James, Etta0001Etta James 4 4
65.0
 
79 58 19.0 0 0 1 3 0
162 McEntire, Reba0001Reba McEntire 3 3
65.0
 
75 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
163 Brown, James0001James Brown 1 4
64.8
 
85 24 17.3 0 1 0 1 2
164 Lennon, John0001John Lennon 2 7
64.7
 
93 39 19.0 0 1 3 1 2
165 Sia0001Sia 4 7
64.6
 
92 33 16.0 0 2 1 2 2
166 Perry, Steve0001Steve Perry 1 1
64.0
 
64 64 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
167 Tricoli, Kathy0001Kathy Tricoli 1 1
64.0
 
64 64 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
168 Vanilla Ice0001Vanilla Ice 1 2
64.0
 
69 59 22.0 0 0 1 1 0
169 Wild Cherry0001Wild Cherry 1 2
64.0
 
69 59 22.0 0 0 1 1 0
170 Young The Giant0001Young The Giant 1 1
64.0
 
64 64 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
171 Lee, Peggy0001Peggy Lee 3 7
63.7
 
88 36 20.1 0 1 2 3 1
172 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 6
63.5
 
88 46 18.2 0 0 3 1 2
173 Smith, Sam0001Sam Smith 3 3
63.3
 
68 60 20.0 0 0 0 3 0
174 Blood Sweat And Tears0001Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 4
63.3
 
84 38 19.8 0 1 0 2 1
175 Clovers0001The Clovers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
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