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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
176
Falling Slowly0001Falling Slowly
73.7
 
3 79 65 23.3 0 0 0 3 0
177
Ready For Love0001Ready For Love
73.7
 
3 78 68 18.0 0 0 0 3 0
178
If I Were Your Woman0001If I Were Your Woman
73.5
 
2 76 71 16.0 0 0 0 2 0
179
A Team0001The A Team
73.0
 
1 73 73 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
180
Beautiful Life0001Beautiful Life
American Idol original song
73.0
 
1 73 73 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
181
Come Rain Or Come Shine0001Come Rain Or Come Shine
73.0
 
2 79 67 20.0 0 0 0 2 0
182
Confident0001Confident
73.0
 
1 73 73 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
183
Dont Play That Song0001Don't Play That Song
73.0
 
2 75 71 17.5 0 0 0 2 0
184
For All We Know0001For All We Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
185
I Need To Know0001I Need To Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
186
Still Rainin0001Still Rainin'
73.0
 
1 73 73 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
187
Tell Her About It0001Tell Her About It
73.0
 
1 73 73 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
188
That's All Right0001That's All Right
73.0
 
1 73 73 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
189
Virtual Insanity0001Virtual Insanity
73.0
 
1 73 73 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
190
Walk On By0001Walk On By
73.0
 
1 73 73 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
191
Wicked Game0001Wicked Game
73.0
 
1 73 73 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
192
You Send Me0001You Send Me
73.0
 
1 73 73 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
193
Always On My Mind0001Always On My Mind
72.8
 
5 86 60 20.4 0 0 0 4 1
194
Anyway0001Anyway
72.5
 
2 79 66 20.5 0 0 0 2 0
195
Say Something0001Say Something
72.5
 
2 83 62 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
196
With A Little Help From My Friends0001With A Little Help From My Friends
72.5
 
2 74 71 18.5 0 0 0 2 0
197
Aint No Sunshine0001Ain't No Sunshine
72.4
 
5 90 46 17.4 0 0 1 2 2
198
Blackbird0001Blackbird
72.0
 
1 72 72 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
199
Cant You See0001Can't You See
72.0
 
1 72 72 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
200
If You Asked Me To0001If You Asked Me To
72.0
 
1 72 72 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
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