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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
1 Abba0001ABBA 1 1
12.0
 
12 12 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
2 Abdul, Paula0001Paula Abdul 1 1
64.0
 
64 64 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
3 Adams, Bryan0001Bryan Adams 3 9
53.0
 
84 16 17.6 1 2 1 4 1
4 Adams, Bryan and Turner, Tina0001Bryan Adams & Tina Turner 1 1
64.0
 
64 64 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
5 Adams, Oleta0001Oleta Adams 1 4
51.3
 
82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
6 Adams, Ryan0001Ryan Adams 2 2
43.5
 
46 41 22.5 0 0 2 0 0
7 Adams, Yolanda0001Yolanda Adams 2 2
24.0
 
46 2 11.0 1 0 1 0 0
8 Adele0001Adele 9 13
50.8
 
84 7 18.4 2 3 3 2 3
9 Aerosmith0001Aerosmith 5 16
49.0
 
84 7 18.6 2 2 6 4 2
10 Aguilera, Christina0001Christina Aguilera 7 10
50.6
 
78 21 18.9 0 2 7 1 0
11 Air Supply0001Air Supply 1 1
54.0
 
54 54 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
12 Aldean, Jason0001Jason Aldean 2 2
36.0
 
38 34 18.5 0 2 0 0 0
13 Aldean, Jason and Clarkson, Kelly0001Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson 1 1
43.0
 
43 43 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
14 All 4 One0001All-4-One 1 1
25.0
 
25 25 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
15 Allan, Gary0001Gary Allan 1 1
40.0
 
40 40 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
16 Allman Brothers Band0001The Allman Brothers Band 2 3
62.0
 
90 44 19.0 0 0 2 0 1
17 Anastacia0001Anastacia 1 1
19.0
 
19 19 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
18 Anderson, John0001John Anderson 1 1
27.0
 
27 27 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
19 Animals0001The Animals 1 2
84.5
 
94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
20 Anthony, Marc0001Marc Anthony 3 3
47.7
 
73 19 17.7 1 0 1 1 0
21 Apple, Fiona0001Fiona Apple 1 1
23.0
 
23 23 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
22 Arie, India0001India.Arie 1 2
71.5
 
75 68 20.5 0 0 0 2 0
23 Armstrong, Louis0001Louis Armstrong 1 3
70.0
 
85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
24 Art Of Noise And Tom Jones0001Art Of Noise & Tom Jones 1 1
39.0
 
39 39 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
25 Asciutto, Jena Irene0001Jena Irene Asciutto 1 1
81.0
 
81 81 7.0 0 0 0 0 1
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