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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 Paul, Billy0001Billy Paul 1 1
42.0
 
42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
402 Perry, Katy0001Katy Perry 2 2
21.0
 
33 9 18.0 1 1 0 0 0
403 Preston, Alex0001Alex Preston 1 1
84.0
 
84 84 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
404 Righteous Brothers0001The Righteous Brothers 2 5
38.4
 
77 5 18.0 2 1 0 2 0
405 Rubinstein, John0001John Rubinstein 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
406 Seether0001Seether 1 1
71.0
 
71 71 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
407 Sledge, Percy0001Percy Sledge 1 6
50.0
 
91 19 18.0 1 1 3 0 1
408 Stone, Allen0001Allen Stone 1 1
45.0
 
45 45 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
409 Stylistics0001The Stylistics 1 1
38.0
 
38 38 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
410 Survivor0001Survivor 1 1
15.0
 
15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
411 Westlife0001Westlife 1 2
49.0
 
51 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 0
412 White, Barry0001Barry White 1 1
70.0
 
70 70 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
413 Williams, Lenny0001Lenny Williams 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
414 Houston, Whitney0001Whitney Houston 15 43
54.5
 
92 19 17.9 2 9 12 15 5
415 Nelson, Willie0001Willie Nelson 3 5
62.4
 
86 22 17.8 0 1 0 3 1
416 Holiday, Billie0001Billie Holiday 4 9
67.8
 
94 21 17.8 0 1 1 3 4
417 Springfield, Dusty0001Dusty Springfield 3 9
52.4
 
90 10 17.8 1 2 2 2 2
418 Evans, Sara0001Sara Evans 3 4
55.3
 
73 20 17.8 0 1 0 3 0
419 Taylor, James0001James Taylor 3 7
43.4
 
81 17 17.7 1 2 2 1 1
420 Parton, Dolly0001Dolly Parton 10 13
58.1
 
92 24 17.7 0 1 7 3 2
421 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
422 Bennett, Tony0001Tony Bennett 3 3
31.0
 
57 7 17.7 1 1 1 0 0
423 Frampton, Peter0001Peter Frampton 1 3
59.7
 
76 48 17.7 0 0 2 1 0
424 Montgomery, John Michael0001John Michael Montgomery 3 3
51.0
 
65 25 17.7 0 1 0 2 0
425 Turner, Ike And Tina0001Ike & Tina Turner 4 9
69.3
 
86 36 17.7 0 1 2 2 4
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