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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
1326
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
1327
We Will Rock You0001We Will Rock You
12.0
 
1 12 12 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
1328
Who Knew0001Who Knew
12.0
 
1 12 12 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
1329
Winner Takes It All0001The Winner Takes It All
12.0
 
1 12 12 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1330
You Must Love Me0001You Must Love Me
12.0
 
1 12 12 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
1331
Because Of You0001Because Of You
11.0
 
1 11 11 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
1332
Impossible Dream0001The Impossible Dream
11.0
 
1 11 11 8.0 1 0 0 0 0
1333
It Must Be Love0001It Must Be Love
11.0
 
1 11 11 9.0 1 0 0 0 0
1334
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This0001Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
11.0
 
1 11 11 9.0 1 0 0 0 0
1335
Thank You0001Thank You
11.0
 
1 11 11 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1336
Treat You Better0001Treat You Better
11.0
 
1 11 11 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1337
Best I Ever Had0001Best I Ever Had
10.0
 
1 10 10 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
1338
Crocodile Rock0001Crocodile Rock
10.0
 
1 10 10 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
1339
Hit Em Up Style Oops0001Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)
10.0
 
1 10 10 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
1340
I Wish0001I Wish
10.0
 
1 10 10 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1341
Im A Believer0001I'm A Believer
10.0
 
1 10 10 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
1342
This Is Gospel0001This Is Gospel
10.0
 
1 10 10 15.0 1 0 0 0 0
1343
To Where You Are0001To Where You Are
10.0
 
1 10 10 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
1344
Whatever It Is0001Whatever It Is
10.0
 
1 10 10 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
1345
Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered0001Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered
From: Pal Joey
9.0
 
1 9 9 8.0 1 0 0 0 0
1346
Celebration0001Celebration
9.0
 
1 9 9 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
1347
Daydream Believer0001Daydream Believer
9.0
 
1 9 9 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
1348
I Shot The Sheriff0001I Shot The Sheriff
9.0
 
1 9 9 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
1349
Lucky0001Lucky
9.0
 
1 9 9 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
1350
Turn Your Lights Down Low0001Turn Your Lights Down Low
9.0
 
1 9 9 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
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