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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
576 Springsteen, Bruce And E Street Band0001Bruce Springsteen & The E St. Band 2 2
39.0
 
57 21 15.5 0 1 1 0 0
577 Sedaka, Neil0001Neil Sedaka 3 5
43.6
 
92 15 15.4 2 1 1 0 1
578 Marx, Richard0001Richard Marx 3 3
29.7
 
38 17 15.3 1 2 0 0 0
579 McLean, Don0001Don McLean 2 4
45.0
 
74 16 15.3 1 1 0 2 0
580 Ross, Diana0001Diana Ross 9 17
43.5
 
85 8 15.2 3 5 5 3 1
581 King, Ben E0001Ben E. King 3 11
73.4
 
92 30 15.2 0 1 1 4 5
582 Carpenters0001Carpenters 4 6
58.5
 
92 2 15.2 1 1 0 2 2
583 Clarkson, Kelly0001Kelly Clarkson 12 22
44.0
 
89 8 15.1 5 7 2 5 3
584 Baker, Anita0001Anita Baker 2 2
26.0
 
33 19 15.0 1 1 0 0 0
585 Carmen, Eric0001Eric Carmen 1 5
56.8
 
92 23 15.0 0 2 0 1 2
586 Cher0001Cher 3 3
50.3
 
82 23 15.0 0 1 1 0 1
587 Corrs0001The Corrs 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 15.0 0 0 1 0 0
588 Crawford, Michael0001Michael Crawford 1 1
87.0
 
87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
589 Dixon, Colton0001Colton Dixon 1 1
74.0
 
74 74 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
590 Eagles0001The Eagles 1 1
17.0
 
17 17 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
591 Emotions0001The Emotions 1 2
33.5
 
63 4 15.0 1 0 0 1 0
592 Foghat0001Foghat 1 1
88.0
 
88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
593 Hebb, Bobby0001Bobby Hebb 1 1
46.0
 
46 46 15.0 0 0 1 0 0
594 James, Harry0001Harry James 1 1
85.0
 
85 85 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
595 Judas Priest0001Judas Priest 1 1
83.0
 
83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
596 Kansas0001Kansas 1 1
5.0
 
5 5 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
597 Lawrence, Carol And Kert, Larry0001Carol Lawrence & Larry Kert 2 4
58.8
 
88 23 15.0 0 2 0 0 2
598 Little Big Town0001Little Big Town 1 1
33.0
 
33 33 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
599 Michael, George0001George Michael 1 1
78.0
 
78 78 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
600 Nixon, Marni And Bryant, Jimmy0001Marni Nixon & Jimmy Bryant 2 4
58.8
 
88 23 15.0 0 2 0 0 2
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