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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 Loveless, Patty0001Patty Loveless 2 2
55.5
 
69 42 18.5 0 0 1 1 0
402 Newton-John, Olivia0001Olivia Newton-John 1 2
35.5
 
38 33 18.5 0 2 0 0 0
403 Ronstadt, Linda0001Linda Ronstadt 4 10
47.8
 
66 34 18.5 0 3 5 2 0
404 Swift, Taylor0001Taylor Swift 3 4
38.3
 
67 9 18.5 1 1 1 1 0
405 Wilson, Gretchen0001Gretchen Wilson 2 2
35.5
 
44 27 18.5 0 1 1 0 0
406 Lauper, Cyndi0001Cyndi Lauper 5 13
46.8
 
75 15 18.5 1 3 5 4 0
407 Summer, Donna0001Donna Summer 6 10
44.5
 
86 7 18.4 1 4 3 1 1
408 Sinatra, Frank0001Frank Sinatra 13 20
54.4
 
87 9 18.4 1 5 5 6 3
409 Box Tops0001The Box Tops 1 3
46.0
 
66 27 18.3 0 1 1 1 0
410 Boyz II Men0001Boyz II Men 4 6
37.0
 
57 11 18.3 1 2 3 0 0
411 Radiohead0001Radiohead 1 3
68.0
 
90 28 18.3 0 1 0 0 2
412 Rufus0001Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan 3 6
54.0
 
85 40 18.3 0 0 4 1 1
413 Branigan, Laura0001Laura Branigan 2 10
47.6
 
83 18 18.3 1 4 1 3 1
414 Wonder, Stevie0001Stevie Wonder 25 67
46.3
 
84 14 18.3 9 19 17 19 3
415 Cassidy, Eva0001Eva Cassidy 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
416 Kamakawiwo'ole, Israel0001Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 1 4
81.8
 
90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
417 Ross, Diana And Richie, Lionel0001Diana Ross & Lionel Richie 1 4
35.5
 
46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
418 Sledge, Percy0001Percy Sledge 1 8
56.1
 
91 19 18.3 1 1 3 2 1
419 Tunstall, KT0001KT Tunstall 2 4
52.0
 
81 34 18.3 0 1 2 0 1
420 Evanescence0001Evanescence 3 5
76.4
 
88 60 18.2 0 0 0 3 2
421 Turner, Ike And Tina0001Ike & Tina Turner 4 11
69.5
 
86 36 18.2 0 1 2 4 4
422 Blige, Mary J.0001Mary J. Blige 3 6
63.5
 
88 46 18.2 0 0 3 1 2
423 Manilow, Barry0001Barry Manilow 7 8
42.0
 
78 7 18.1 3 1 2 2 0
424 Withers, Bill0001Bill Withers 3 8
60.9
 
90 18 18.1 1 1 1 3 2
425 Fleetwood Mac0001Fleetwood Mac 5 9
50.0
 
84 7 18.1 2 1 2 3 1
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