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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
176 Gray, David0001David Gray 2 2
63.0
 
74 52 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
177 Hornsby, Bruce And Range0001Bruce Hornsby & The Range 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
178 Hughes, Jimmy0001Jimmy Hughes 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
179 Rush0001Rush 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
180 Searchers0001The Searchers 1 1
63.0
 
63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
181 Streisand, Barbra0001Barbra Streisand 8 10
62.9
 
91 40 19.5 0 0 4 4 2
182 Orbison, Roy0001Roy Orbison 3 4
62.8
 
74 37 18.8 0 1 0 3 0
183 Cooke, Sam0001Sam Cooke 3 7
62.4
 
75 45 21.9 0 0 3 4 0
184 Carey, Mariah And Houston, Whitney0001Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston 1 3
62.3
 
70 55 21.3 0 0 1 2 0
185 Franklin, Aretha0001Aretha Franklin 12 30
62.3
 
89 19 16.7 1 4 7 9 9
186 Allman Brothers Band0001The Allman Brothers Band 2 3
62.0
 
90 43 19.0 0 0 2 0 1
187 DeShannon, Jackie0001Jackie DeShannon 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
188 Idol, Billy0001Billy Idol 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 28.0 0 0 0 1 0
189 Jonas, Nick0001Nick Jonas 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
190 London, Julie0001Julie London 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
191 Mann, Tamela0001Tamela Mann 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
192 Moore, Melba0001Melba Moore 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
193 Nixon, Marni0001Marni Nixon 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
194 Simple Minds0001Simple Minds 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
195 Spears, Britney0001Britney Spears 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
196 Tallest Man On Earth0001The Tallest Man On Earth 1 1
62.0
 
62 62 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
197 Bon Jovi0001Bon Jovi 7 13
61.9
 
86 15 17.7 1 1 2 6 3
198 Baker, Chet0001Chet Baker 1 6
61.7
 
92 39 19.0 0 1 2 2 1
199 Jessie J0001Jessie J 3 5
61.6
 
87 26 17.4 0 1 1 2 1
200 Charles, Ray0001Ray Charles 4 8
61.4
 
87 43 20.1 0 0 4 3 1
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