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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
151
If We Hold On Together0001If We Hold On Together
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
152
Ill Stand By You0001I'll Stand By You
75.0
 
3 93 51 18.0 0 0 1 0 2
153
Never0001Never
75.0
 
1 75 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
154
Never Enough0001Never Enough
75.0
 
1 75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
155
Sugar Were Goin Down0001Sugar, We're Goin' Down
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
156
Think Twice0001Think Twice
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
157
Turn On The Radio0001Turn On The Radio
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
158
Way You Make Me Feel0001The Way You Make Me Feel
75.0
 
1 75 75 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
159
Halo0001Halo
74.5
 
2 76 73 17.0 0 0 0 2 0
160
All Of Me0001All Of Me
74.0
 
1 74 74 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
161
Babylon0001Babylon
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
162
Brand New Key0001Brand New Key
74.0
 
1 74 74 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
163
Can You Feel The Love Tonight0001Can You Feel The Love Tonight
74.0
 
1 74 74 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
164
Elastic Heart0001Elastic Heart
74.0
 
1 74 74 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
165
Give Me One Reason0001Give Me One Reason
74.0
 
3 90 60 14.3 0 0 0 2 1
166
Home0001Home
American Idol original song
74.0
 
1 74 74 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
167
I Drove All Night0001I Drove All Night
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
168
I Told You So0001I Told You So
74.0
 
1 74 74 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
169
Like My Mother Does0001Like My Mother Does
74.0
 
1 74 74 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
170
Little Sparrow0001Little Sparrow
74.0
 
1 74 74 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
171
Love Will Keep Us Together0001Love Will Keep Us Together
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
172
Never Gone0001Never Gone
74.0
 
1 74 74 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
173
Smoky Mountain Memories0001Smoky Mountain Memories
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
174
Time In A Bottle0001Time In A Bottle
74.0
 
1 74 74 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
175
Weve Got Tonight0001We've Got Tonight
74.0
 
1 74 74 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
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