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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 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
2
Piece Of My Heart0001Piece Of My Heart
53.3
 
7 65 38 22.0 0 1 5 1 0
3
Feeling Good0001Feeling Good
51.5
 
6 70 37 22.5 0 1 4 1 0
4
I Dont Want To Be0001I Don't Want To Be
53.3
 
6 82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
5
I Have Nothing0001I Have Nothing
60.1
 
9 87 20 17.3 0 1 4 2 2
6
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
7
Aint No Mountain High Enough0001Ain't No Mountain High Enough
39.3
 
4 51 8 15.0 1 0 3 0 0
8
Chain Of Fools0001Chain Of Fools
57.4
 
5 84 40 17.0 0 0 3 1 1
9
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
10
I Heard It Through The Grapevine0001I Heard It Through The Grapevine
47.1
 
7 78 11 17.6 1 1 3 2 0
11
Ill Be0001I'll Be
52.4
 
7 81 22 18.7 0 2 3 1 1
12
Imagine0001Imagine
60.7
 
6 93 39 19.7 0 1 3 1 1
13
Reflection0001Reflection
61.5
 
4 78 54 17.8 0 0 3 1 0
14
Signed Sealed Delivered Im Yours0001Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
59.0
 
4 76 48 17.3 0 0 3 1 0
15
Tonight I Wanna Cry0001Tonight I Wanna Cry
42.0
 
4 55 25 21.5 0 1 3 0 0
16
Tracks Of My Tears0001The Tracks Of My Tears
61.8
 
4 87 47 23.0 0 0 3 0 1
17
Turn The Beat Around0001Turn The Beat Around
49.6
 
5 72 17 20.2 1 0 3 1 0
18
When A Man Loves A Woman0001When A Man Loves A Woman
56.1
 
8 91 19 18.3 1 1 3 2 1
19
You Are So Beautiful0001You Are So Beautiful
59.6
 
5 77 46 18.8 0 0 3 2 0
20
A Change Is Gonna Come0001A Change Is Gonna Come
63.8
 
5 75 57 23.0 0 0 2 3 0
21
A Song For You0001A Song For You
66.5
 
4 88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
22
Aint Too Proud To Beg0001Ain't Too Proud To Beg
52.8
 
5 84 19 17.4 1 0 2 1 1
23
Alone0001Alone
59.4
 
5 89 23 17.6 0 1 2 0 2
24
Amazed0001Amazed
36.2
 
5 54 12 18.6 1 2 2 0 0
25
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
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