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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
1276
Bad Blood0001Bad Blood
15.0
 
1 15 15 7.0 1 0 0 0 0
1277
Bathwater0001Bathwater
15.0
 
1 15 15 24.0 1 0 0 0 0
1278
Compass0001Compass
15.0
 
1 15 15 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1279
Livin On A Prayer0001Livin' On A Prayer
15.0
 
1 15 15 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1280
Old Time Rock And Roll0001Old Time Rock And Roll
15.0
 
1 15 15 21.0 1 0 0 0 0
1281
Rose0001The Rose
15.0
 
1 15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
1282
Search Is Over0001The Search Is Over
15.0
 
1 15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
1283
Happy (Leona Lewis)0001Happy
14.0
 
1 14 14 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
1284
Hound Dog0001Hound Dog
14.0
 
1 14 14 6.0 1 0 0 0 0
1285
Memory0001Memory
From: Cats
14.0
 
1 14 14 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
1286
September Morn0001September Morn
14.0
 
1 14 14 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
1287
Thats When Ill Stop Loving You0001That's When I'll Stop Loving You
14.0
 
1 14 14 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
1288
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life0001You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
14.0
 
1 14 14 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1289
I Wanna Love You Forever0001I Wanna Love You Forever
13.0
 
1 13 13 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
1290
Johnny Cash Heart0001Johnny Cash Heart
American Idol original song
13.0
 
1 13 13 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
1291
Magic Man0001Magic Man
13.0
 
1 13 13 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1292
My Destiny0001My Destiny
American Idol original song
13.0
 
1 13 13 9.0 1 0 0 0 0
1293
Poison Ivy0001Poison Ivy
13.0
 
1 13 13 9.0 1 0 0 0 0
1294
You Make My Dreams0001You Make My Dreams
13.0
 
1 13 13 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
1295
Alright0001Alright
12.0
 
1 12 12 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
1296
Nights In White Satin0001Nights In White Satin
12.0
 
1 12 12 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1297
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go0001Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
12.0
 
1 12 12 7.0 1 0 0 0 0
1298
We Will Rock You0001We Will Rock You
12.0
 
1 12 12 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
1299
Who Knew0001Who Knew
12.0
 
1 12 12 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
1300
Winner Takes It All0001The Winner Takes It All
12.0
 
1 12 12 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
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