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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
126
Always Be My Baby0001Always Be My Baby
76.0
 
1 76 76 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
127
Barracuda0001Barracuda
76.0
 
1 76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
128
Decode0001Decode
76.0
 
2 90 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 1
129
Home 10001Home
76.0
 
2 85 67 11.5 0 0 0 1 1
130
Im Here0001I'm Here
76.0
 
1 76 76 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
131
It Had To Be You0001It Had To Be You
  • Standard
76.0
 
1 76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
132
Love Song Cure0001Lovesong
76.0
 
2 96 56 14.0 0 0 1 0 1
133
Love The Way You Lie0001Love The Way You Lie
76.0
 
1 76 76 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
134
My Generation0001My Generation
76.0
 
1 76 76 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
135
Summertime Sadness0001Summertime Sadness
76.0
 
1 76 76 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
136
Thinking Out Loud0001Thinking Out Loud
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
137
Where The Blacktop Ends0001Where The Blacktop Ends
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
138
As Long As He Needs Me0001As Long As He Needs Me
From: Oliver!
75.5
 
2 80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
139
Volcano0001Volcano
75.5
 
2 80 71 20.5 0 0 0 1 1
140
Summertime0001Summertime
From: Porgy & Bess
75.3
 
3 94 62 16.7 0 0 0 2 1
141
Back Home0001Back Home
75.0
 
1 75 75 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
142
Didnt You Know How Much I Loved You0001Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You
75.0
 
1 75 75 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
143
Heaven Knows0001Heaven Knows
75.0
 
1 75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
144
I Walk The Line0001I Walk The Line
75.0
 
1 75 75 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
145
If We Hold On Together0001If We Hold On Together
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
146
Ill Stand By You0001I'll Stand By You
75.0
 
3 93 51 18.0 0 0 1 0 2
147
Never0001Never
75.0
 
1 75 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
148
Sugar Were Goin Down0001Sugar, We're Goin' Down
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
149
Think Twice0001Think Twice
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
150
Turn On The Radio0001Turn On The Radio
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
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