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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 (3x Performances)

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
101 Muse0001Muse 2 7
54.4
 
72 37 23.1 0 1 4 2 0
102 Houston, Whitney0001Whitney Houston 15 44
54.4
 
92 19 17.9 2 9 13 15 5
103 Sinatra, Frank0001Frank Sinatra 13 20
54.4
 
87 9 18.4 1 5 5 6 3
104 Melvin, Harold And Blue Notes0001Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 1 4
54.3
 
75 25 20.5 0 1 1 2 0
105 Richie, Lionel0001Lionel Richie 2 4
54.3
 
90 29 19.0 0 1 2 0 1
106 Simply Red0001Simply Red 1 4
54.3
 
75 25 20.5 0 1 1 2 0
107 Doobie Brothers0001The Doobie Brothers 2 3
53.7
 
80 19 18.0 1 0 0 1 1
108 Gaye, Marvin And Terrell, Tammi0001Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 2 8
53.6
 
76 8 17.0 1 0 4 3 0
109 Rolling Stones0001The Rolling Stones 15 25
53.5
 
88 19 19.4 2 3 10 7 3
110 Four Tops0001The Four Tops 3 11
53.5
 
82 6 16.4 2 1 2 5 1
111 Dion, Celine0001Celine Dion 13 31
53.4
 
92 13 17.1 2 8 5 13 3
112 Sledge, Percy0001Percy Sledge 1 7
53.3
 
91 19 18.3 1 1 3 1 1
113 Khan, Chaka0001Chaka Khan 4 12
53.1
 
92 23 18.5 0 4 3 3 2
114 Adams, Bryan0001Bryan Adams 3 9
53.0
 
84 16 17.6 1 2 1 4 1
115 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
116 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
117 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
118 Benatar, Pat0001Pat Benatar 3 6
52.0
 
80 22 19.0 0 1 3 1 1
119 Rascal Flatts0001Rascal Flatts 4 5
52.0
 
79 18 19.8 1 0 2 2 0
120 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
121 King, Carole0001Carole King 9 12
51.9
 
92 23 20.0 0 4 4 1 3
122 Bolton, Michael0001Michael Bolton 4 17
51.9
 
91 18 18.0 2 5 3 5 2
123 Beatles0001The Beatles 36 54
51.5
 
85 3 18.9 5 12 15 17 5
124 Pickett, Wilson0001Wilson Pickett 2 3
51.3
 
57 46 22.7 0 0 3 0 0
125 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
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