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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
1
I Dont Want To Miss A Thing0001I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
38.3
 
9 68 13 17.3 2 2 3 2 0
2
I Have Nothing0001I Have Nothing
60.1
 
9 87 20 17.3 0 1 4 2 2
3
When A Man Loves A Woman0001When A Man Loves A Woman
56.1
 
8 91 19 18.3 1 1 3 2 1
4
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)0001Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
31.6
 
7 59 2 15.1 2 2 3 0 0
5
Come Together0001Come Together
62.1
 
7 85 26 17.1 0 2 1 1 3
6
Dont Let The Sun Go Down On Me0001Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
70.6
 
7 90 45 18.1 0 0 2 2 3
7
I Heard It Through The Grapevine0001I Heard It Through The Grapevine
47.1
 
7 78 11 17.6 1 1 3 2 0
8
Ill Be0001I'll Be
52.4
 
7 81 22 18.7 0 2 3 1 1
9
Piece Of My Heart0001Piece Of My Heart
53.3
 
7 65 38 22.0 0 1 5 1 0
10
Superstition0001Superstition
51.4
 
7 65 35 21.4 0 3 0 4 0
11
All By Myself0001All By Myself
49.2
 
6 92 11 15.3 1 2 0 1 2
12
And I Am Telling You Im Not Going0001And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
65.5
 
6 88 38 18.8 0 1 2 0 3
13
Crazy Little Thing Called Love0001Crazy Little Thing Called Love
31.2
 
6 62 13 19.2 2 3 0 1 0
14
Feeling Good0001Feeling Good
51.5
 
6 70 37 22.5 0 1 4 1 0
15
I Believe0001I Believe
American Idol original song
43.2
 
6 83 22 16.7 0 4 1 0 1
16
I Dont Want To Be0001I Don't Want To Be
53.3
 
6 82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
17
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)0001I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
41.8
 
6 52 19 19.5 1 0 5 0 0
18
Imagine0001Imagine
60.7
 
6 93 39 19.7 0 1 3 1 1
19
Lately0001Lately
48.7
 
6 67 25 19.5 0 2 2 2 0
20
My Funny Valentine0001My Funny Valentine
61.7
 
6 92 39 19.0 0 1 2 2 1
21
A Broken Wing0001A Broken Wing
66.0
 
5 82 41 18.0 0 0 1 3 1
22
A Change Is Gonna Come0001A Change Is Gonna Come
63.8
 
5 75 57 23.0 0 0 2 3 0
23
A House Is Not A Home0001A House Is Not A Home
69.8
 
5 92 39 17.2 0 1 1 1 2
24
A Little Less Conversation0001A Little Less Conversation
41.0
 
5 72 28 21.8 0 4 0 1 0
25
A Natural Woman0001A Natural Woman
63.4
 
5 89 38 16.8 0 1 1 1 2
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