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Songs

This section of the WhatNotToSing.com database is so dangerous it ought to come with a warning sticker. There are no shortage of ways to misinterpret the Song data we've compiled. For example, if you happen to have toothpaste for brains, and you looked at the table below, you might reason thusly:

"Hmm...'In A Dream', by Badlands. A 94.0 average, that's good. Only been performed once, for 5-stars. Looks like a pretty sweet choice. I'll try it!"

Thankfully, most contestants this dumb can't find the audition site in the first place, and the judges do a decent job of weeding out the ones that do. But beware, the Songs table provides plenty more rope with which to hang yourself. Here, then, are a few bits of friendly advice from the staff.

  • In all seriousness, do avoid songs that have already been showstoppers; the odds are not in your favor. Note how many songs have provided a 5-star performance (sort the Ratings Tab table by the rightmost column), then note how few have done so for two different contestants. It's difficult enough to be compared to a professional recording artist, but when you invite comparisons to previous excellent Idol moments as well, you're really asking for it.
  • Corollary: steer clear of commercial hit songs by a former Idol, unless your goal is to shout to the world, "Hey, look! I can't sing as well as someone you crowned champion a few years ago!"
  • In a similar vein, avoid songs associated with a previous disastrous performance. If your lifelong dream is to sing Crocodile Rock on the Idol stage, get over it.
  • Keep in mind that each song's numerical rating is of the performances of that song, not of the song itself. Always take the singers into account. The "X-Factor" column in the Extended Data tab is a great way to see whether a song has helped or hurt singers in the long run.

Which brings us to this final tidbit of advice. When faced with a choice between a song that has been performed previously on Idol (even if it wasn't a showstopper or a disaster) and a fresh one, all else being equal, go with the fresh one. We've found a clear downward trend on repeat and reprise performances, particularly in the later seasons.

[back to top] American Idol  Songs


Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Song / Artist Average Rating #Pf Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
76
Saved0001Saved
81.0
 
1 81 81 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
77
Beautiful0001Beautiful
80.0
 
1 80 80 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
78
Come See About Me0001Come See About Me
80.0
 
1 80 80 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
79
Crazy On You0001Crazy On You
80.0
 
1 80 80 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
80
For The Love Of Money0001For The Love Of Money
80.0
 
1 80 80 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
81
Glory0001Glory
80.0
 
1 80 80 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
82
Nutbush City Limits0001Nutbush City Limits
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
83
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
84
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
85
Someone Saved My Life Tonight0001Someone Saved My Life Tonight
80.0
 
1 80 80 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
86
Stronger0001Stronger
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
87
This Womans Work0001This Woman's Work
80.0
 
1 80 80 25.0 0 0 0 0 1
88
U Got It Bad0001U Got It Bad
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
89
You Cant Always Get What You Want0001You Can't Always Get What You Want
80.0
 
1 80 80 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
90
Youll Never Walk Alone0001You'll Never Walk Alone
From: Carousel
80.0
 
1 80 80 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
91
Everybody Has A Dream0001Everybody Has A Dream
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
92
Hand In My Pocket0001Hand In My Pocket
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
93
If I Cant Have You0001If I Can't Have You
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
94
One Rock N Roll Too Many0001One Rock 'N' Roll Too Many
From: Starlight Express
79.0
 
1 79 79 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
95
Roses0001Roses
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
96
Seven Day Fool0001Seven Day Fool
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
97
Somewhere Only We Know0001Somewhere Only We Know
79.0
 
1 79 79 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
98
Stuttering0001Stuttering
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
99
Vehicle0001Vehicle
79.0
 
2 88 70 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
100
Who You Are0001Who You Are
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
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