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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
Stuff Like That There0001Stuff Like That There
95.0
 
1 95 95 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
2
In A Dream0001In A Dream
94.0
 
1 94 94 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
3
Build Me Up Buttercup0001Build Me Up Buttercup
93.0
 
1 93 93 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
4
Hemorrhage In My Hands0001Hemorrhage (In My Hands)
92.0
 
1 92 92 6.0 0 0 0 0 1
5
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
6
Will You Love Me Tomorrow0001Will You Love Me Tomorrow
92.0
 
1 92 92 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
7
Chandelier0001Chandelier
91.0
 
2 92 90 10.5 0 0 0 0 2
8
Dont Rain On My Parade0001Don't Rain On My Parade
91.0
 
1 91 91 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
9
A Whole New World0001A Whole New World
90.0
 
1 90 90 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
10
I Don't Hurt Anymore0001I Don't Hurt Anymore
90.0
 
1 90 90 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
11
Long As I Can See The Light0001Long As I Can See The Light
90.0
 
1 90 90 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
12
Whipping Post0001Whipping Post
90.0
 
1 90 90 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
13
Blue Eyed Lie0001Blue Eyed Lie
89.0
 
1 89 89 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
14
Fancy0001Fancy
89.0
 
1 89 89 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
15
Jealous Guy0001Jealous Guy
89.0
 
1 89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
16
Treat Her Like A Lady0001Treat Her Like A Lady
89.0
 
1 89 89 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
17
Waiting Game0001Waiting Game
89.0
 
1 89 89 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
18
Whole Lotta Love0001Whole Lotta Love
88.5
 
2 93 84 19.0 0 0 0 0 2
19
Band Of Gold0001Band Of Gold
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
20
People Get Ready0001People Get Ready
88.0
 
1 88 88 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
21
Slow Ride0001Slow Ride
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
22
Could've Been0001Could've Been
87.0
 
1 87 87 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
23
Heartless0001Heartless
87.0
 
1 87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
24
Kiss And Say Goodbye0001Kiss And Say Goodbye
87.0
 
1 87 87 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
25
Music Of The Night0001The Music Of The Night
From: The Phantom Of The Opera
87.0
 
1 87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
26
Sweet Sweet Baby Since Youve Been Gone0001(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone
87.0
 
1 87 87 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
27
Vienna0001Vienna
87.0
 
1 87 87 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
28
Fairytales0001Fairytales
86.0
 
1 86 86 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
29
Have A Nice Day0001Have A Nice Day
86.0
 
1 86 86 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
30
I Got Rhythm0001I Got Rhythm
86.0
 
1 86 86 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
31
My Immortal0001My Immortal
86.0
 
1 86 86 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
32
Ordinary People0001Ordinary People
86.0
 
1 86 86 9.0 0 0 0 0 1
33
Take Me To The Pilot0001Take Me To The Pilot
86.0
 
1 86 86 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
34
The Trouble With Love Is0001The Trouble With Love Is
86.0
 
1 86 86 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
35
I Who Have Nothing0001I (Who Have Nothing)
85.4
 
5 92 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 4
36
Sharp Dressed Man0001Sharp Dressed Man
85.0
 
1 85 85 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
37
Too Close For Comfort0001Too Close For Comfort
85.0
 
1 85 85 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
38
What Is And What Should Never Be0001What Is And What Should Never Be
85.0
 
1 85 85 24.0 0 0 0 0 1
39
You've Changed0001You've Changed
85.0
 
1 85 85 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
40
Billie Jean0001Billie Jean
84.5
 
2 95 74 15.5 0 0 0 1 1
41
House Of Rising Sun0001House Of The Rising Sun
84.5
 
2 94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
42
Mad World0001Mad World
84.3
 
3 94 79 16.3 0 0 0 1 2
43
A Beautiful Mess0001A Beautiful Mess
84.0
 
1 84 84 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
44
Bang Bang My Baby Shot Me Down0001Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
84.0
 
1 84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
45
Higher Ground0001Higher Ground
84.0
 
1 84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
46
Ive Got The Music In Me0001I've Got The Music In Me
84.0
 
1 84 84 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
47
Minnie The Moocher0001Minnie The Moocher
84.0
 
1 84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
48
Power Of Love 10001The Power Of Love
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
49
Prayer0001The Prayer
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
50
Skyfall0001Skyfall
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
51
Still Of The Night0001Still Of The Night
84.0
 
1 84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
52
Trouble Is A Woman0001Trouble Is A Woman
84.0
 
1 84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
53
Up To The Mountain0001Up To The Mountain
83.3
 
3 89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
54
Give In To Me0001Give In To Me
83.0
 
1 83 83 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
55
Its All Wrong But Its Alright0001It's All Wrong But It's Alright
83.0
 
1 83 83 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
56
Sunday Morning0001Sunday Morning
83.0
 
1 83 83 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
57
Youre So Vain0001You're So Vain
83.0
 
1 83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
58
Youve Got Another Thing Comin'0001You've Got Another Thing Comin'
83.0
 
1 83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
59
Black Or White0001Black Or White
82.0
 
1 82 82 29.0 0 0 0 0 1
60
Bleeding Love0001Bleeding Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
61
Donít Make Me Over0001Don’t Make Me Over
82.0
 
1 82 82 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
62
Fool In Love0001Fool In Love
82.0
 
2 83 81 13.5 0 0 0 0 2
63
I Need You Now0001I Need You Now
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
64
Moodys Mood For Love0001Moody's Mood For Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
65
Shes A Woman0001She's A Woman
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
66
Somewhere Out There0001Somewhere Out There
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
67
Sting Me0001Sting Me
82.0
 
1 82 82 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
68
There Will Come A Day0001There Will Come A Day
82.0
 
1 82 82 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
69
These Foolish Things0001These Foolish Things
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
70
Unbreakable Me0001Unbreakable Me
82.0
 
1 82 82 7.0 0 0 0 0 1
71
Over The Rainbow0001Over The Rainbow
81.8
 
4 90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
72
Candle In The Wind0001Candle In The Wind
81.0
 
1 81 81 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
73
Crow And Butterfly0001The Crow & The Butterfly
81.0
 
1 81 81 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
74
Heaven 20001Heaven
81.0
 
1 81 81 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
75
How Come U Dont Call Me Anymore0001How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?
81.0
 
1 81 81 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
76
Saved0001Saved
81.0
 
1 81 81 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
77
Beautiful0001Beautiful
80.0
 
1 80 80 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
78
Come See About Me0001Come See About Me
80.0
 
1 80 80 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
79
Crazy On You0001Crazy On You
80.0
 
1 80 80 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
80
For The Love Of Money0001For The Love Of Money
80.0
 
1 80 80 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
81
Glory0001Glory
80.0
 
1 80 80 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
82
Nutbush City Limits0001Nutbush City Limits
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
83
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
84
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
85
Someone Saved My Life Tonight0001Someone Saved My Life Tonight
80.0
 
1 80 80 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
86
Stronger0001Stronger
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
87
This Womans Work0001This Woman's Work
80.0
 
1 80 80 25.0 0 0 0 0 1
88
U Got It Bad0001U Got It Bad
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
89
You Cant Always Get What You Want0001You Can't Always Get What You Want
80.0
 
1 80 80 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
90
Youll Never Walk Alone0001You'll Never Walk Alone
From: Carousel
80.0
 
1 80 80 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
91
Everybody Has A Dream0001Everybody Has A Dream
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
92
Hand In My Pocket0001Hand In My Pocket
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
93
If I Cant Have You0001If I Can't Have You
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
94
One Rock N Roll Too Many0001One Rock 'N' Roll Too Many
From: Starlight Express
79.0
 
1 79 79 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
95
Roses0001Roses
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
96
Seven Day Fool0001Seven Day Fool
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
97
Somewhere Only We Know0001Somewhere Only We Know
79.0
 
1 79 79 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
98
Stuttering0001Stuttering
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
99
Vehicle0001Vehicle
79.0
 
2 88 70 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
100
Who You Are0001Who You Are
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
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