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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 Presley, Elvis0001Elvis Presley 18 36
53.8
 
90 14 20.1 1 9 12 8 6
102 Dion, Celine0001Celine Dion 13 31
53.4
 
92 13 17.1 2 8 5 13 3
103 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 1 6
53.3
 
82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
104 Rolling Stones0001The Rolling Stones 15 24
53.3
 
88 19 19.3 2 3 10 5 4
105 Khan, Chaka0001Chaka Khan 4 12
53.2
 
92 24 18.5 0 4 3 3 2
106 Adams, Bryan0001Bryan Adams 3 9
53.0
 
84 16 17.6 1 2 1 4 1
107 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
108 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
109 Bolton, Michael0001Michael Bolton 4 15
52.6
 
91 18 18.0 2 4 3 4 2
110 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
111 Greenwood, Lee0001Lee Greenwood 2 5
52.0
 
82 21 20.8 0 1 2 1 1
112 Rascal Flatts0001Rascal Flatts 4 5
52.0
 
79 18 19.8 1 0 2 2 0
113 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
114 Bee Gees0001The Bee Gees 9 17
51.9
 
87 19 19.5 1 4 6 5 1
115 King, Carole0001Carole King 9 12
51.9
 
92 23 20.0 0 4 4 1 3
116 Beatles0001The Beatles 36 52
51.4
 
85 3 18.8 5 11 15 16 5
117 Pickett, Wilson0001Wilson Pickett 2 3
51.3
 
57 46 22.7 0 0 3 0 0
118 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
119 Cara, Irene0001Irene Cara 2 5
51.2
 
85 19 17.2 1 1 1 1 1
120 Montgomery, John Michael0001John Michael Montgomery 3 3
51.0
 
65 25 17.7 0 1 0 2 0
121 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 9
50.9
 
83 25 18.6 0 4 1 3 1
122 Carey, Mariah0001Mariah Carey 8 17
50.8
 
82 14 20.2 1 3 8 3 2
123 John, Elton0001Elton John 19 37
50.8
 
90 8 19.4 3 11 9 6 8
124 Adele0001Adele 9 13
50.8
 
84 7 18.4 2 3 3 2 3
125 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
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