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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 Simply Red0001Simply Red 1 4
54.3
 
75 25 20.5 0 1 1 2 0
102 Gaye, Marvin And Terrell, Tammi0001Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 2 7
54.0
 
76 8 16.1 1 0 3 3 0
103 Rolling Stones0001The Rolling Stones 15 25
53.5
 
88 19 19.4 2 3 10 7 3
104 Dion, Celine0001Celine Dion 13 31
53.4
 
92 13 17.1 2 8 5 13 3
105 DeGraw, Gavin0001Gavin DeGraw 1 6
53.3
 
82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
106 Khan, Chaka0001Chaka Khan 4 12
53.1
 
92 23 18.5 0 4 3 3 2
107 Adams, Bryan0001Bryan Adams 3 9
53.0
 
84 16 17.6 1 2 1 4 1
108 Gray, Dobie0001Dobie Gray 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
109 Uncle Kracker0001Uncle Kracker 1 3
52.7
 
84 29 21.0 0 1 1 0 1
110 Bolton, Michael0001Michael Bolton 4 15
52.6
 
91 18 18.0 2 4 3 4 2
111 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
112 Benatar, Pat0001Pat Benatar 3 6
52.0
 
80 22 19.0 0 1 3 1 1
113 Rascal Flatts0001Rascal Flatts 4 5
52.0
 
79 18 19.8 1 0 2 2 0
114 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
115 Bee Gees0001The Bee Gees 9 17
51.9
 
87 19 19.5 1 4 6 5 1
116 King, Carole0001Carole King 9 12
51.9
 
92 23 20.0 0 4 4 1 3
117 Mraz, Jason0001Jason Mraz 5 5
51.8
 
84 31 19.0 0 2 1 1 1
118 Beatles0001The Beatles 36 52
51.4
 
85 3 18.8 5 11 15 16 5
119 Pickett, Wilson0001Wilson Pickett 2 3
51.3
 
57 46 22.7 0 0 3 0 0
120 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
121 Cara, Irene0001Irene Cara 2 5
51.2
 
85 19 17.2 1 1 1 1 1
122 Montgomery, John Michael0001John Michael Montgomery 3 3
51.0
 
65 25 17.7 0 1 0 2 0
123 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 9
50.9
 
83 25 18.6 0 4 1 3 1
124 Carey, Mariah0001Mariah Carey 8 17
50.8
 
82 14 20.2 1 3 8 3 2
125 John, Elton0001Elton John 19 37
50.8
 
90 8 19.4 4 10 9 6 8
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