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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 (2000s only)


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
Hemorrhage In My Hands0001Hemorrhage (In My Hands)
92.0
 
1 92 92 6.0 0 0 0 0 1
2
Heartless0001Heartless
87.0
 
1 87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
3
Have A Nice Day0001Have A Nice Day
86.0
 
1 86 86 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
4
My Immortal0001My Immortal
86.0
 
1 86 86 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
5
Ordinary People0001Ordinary People
86.0
 
1 86 86 9.0 0 0 0 0 1
6
The Trouble With Love Is0001The Trouble With Love Is
86.0
 
1 86 86 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
7
A Beautiful Mess0001A Beautiful Mess
84.0
 
1 84 84 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
8
Power Of Love 10001The Power Of Love
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
9
Up To The Mountain0001Up To The Mountain
83.3
 
3 89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
10
Sunday Morning0001Sunday Morning
83.0
 
1 83 83 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
11
Bleeding Love0001Bleeding Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
12
I Need You Now0001I Need You Now
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
13
There Will Come A Day0001There Will Come A Day
82.0
 
1 82 82 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
14
Heaven 20001Heaven
81.0
 
1 81 81 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
15
Stronger0001Stronger
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
16
U Got It Bad0001U Got It Bad
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
17
Somewhere Only We Know0001Somewhere Only We Know
79.0
 
1 79 79 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
18
You Pulled Me Through0001You Pulled Me Through
79.0
 
1 79 79 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
19
Bring Me To Life0001Bring Me To Life
78.7
 
3 88 71 20.0 0 0 0 2 1
20
Dont0001Don't
77.0
 
1 77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
21
Sweet Dreams0001Sweet Dreams
76.5
 
2 87 66 16.0 0 0 0 1 1
22
Decode0001Decode
76.0
 
2 90 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 1
23
Where The Blacktop Ends0001Where The Blacktop Ends
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
24
Volcano0001Volcano
75.5
 
2 80 71 20.5 0 0 0 1 1
25
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
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