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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
401 Lloyd, Spencer0001Spencer Lloyd 1 1
20.0
 
20 20 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
402 Manzanero, Armando0001Armando Manzanero 1 1
72.0
 
72 72 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
403 Marley, Bob And Lauren Hill0001Bob Marley & Lauryn Hill 1 1
9.0
 
9 9 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
404 Martha And Vandellas0001Martha & The Vandellas 3 8
49.0
 
67 34 18.0 0 2 3 3 0
405 McGraw, Tim0001Tim McGraw 2 2
45.5
 
46 45 18.0 0 0 2 0 0
406 Mute Math0001Mute Math 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
407 Naked Eyes0001Naked Eyes 1 1
15.0
 
15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
408 Neighborhood0001The Neighborhood 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
409 One Direction0001One Direction 1 2
65.5
 
74 57 18.0 0 0 1 1 0
410 Passenger0001Passenger 1 1
29.0
 
29 29 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
411 Paul, Billy0001Billy Paul 1 1
42.0
 
42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
412 Perry, Katy0001Katy Perry 2 2
19.5
 
32 7 18.0 1 1 0 0 0
413 Preston, Alex0001Alex Preston 1 1
86.0
 
86 86 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
414 Righteous Brothers0001The Righteous Brothers 2 5
38.4
 
77 5 18.0 2 1 0 2 0
415 Rubinstein, John0001John Rubinstein 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
416 Seether0001Seether 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
417 Sledge, Percy0001Percy Sledge 1 6
50.0
 
91 19 18.0 1 1 3 0 1
418 Stone, Allen0001Allen Stone 1 1
44.0
 
44 44 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
419 Stylistics0001The Stylistics 1 1
38.0
 
38 38 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
420 Survivor0001Survivor 1 1
15.0
 
15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
421 Westlife0001Westlife 1 2
49.0
 
51 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 0
422 White, Barry0001Barry White 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
423 Williams, Lenny0001Lenny Williams 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
424 Parton, Dolly0001Dolly Parton 10 14
58.9
 
92 24 17.9 0 1 7 4 2
425 Houston, Whitney0001Whitney Houston 15 43
54.5
 
92 19 17.9 2 9 12 15 5
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