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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
826
Tiny Dancer0001Tiny Dancer
38.0
 
2 44 32 18.0 0 1 1 0 0
827
Warrior0001Warrior
44.0
 
1 44 44 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
828
You Are Not Alone0001You Are Not Alone
44.0
 
1 44 44 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
829
Youre No Good0001You're No Good
40.5
 
2 44 37 20.0 0 1 1 0 0
830
As We Lay0001As We Lay
43.0
 
1 43 43 23.0 0 0 1 0 0
831
Blue0001Blue
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
832
Bold As Love0001Bold As Love
43.0
 
1 43 43 27.0 0 0 1 0 0
833
Conga0001Conga
41.0
 
2 43 39 17.5 0 1 1 0 0
834
Crazy0001Crazy
34.0
 
2 43 25 16.5 0 1 1 0 0
835
Diamonds0001Diamonds
43.0
 
1 43 43 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
836
Disease0001Disease
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
837
Dont You Wanna Stay0001Don't You Wanna Stay
43.0
 
1 43 43 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
838
Everytime You Go Away0001Everytime You Go Away
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
839
Girl Is Mine0001The Girl Is Mine
43.0
 
1 43 43 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
840
God Bless The USA0001God Bless The USA
43.0
 
1 43 43 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
841
Have You Ever0001Have You Ever
43.0
 
1 43 43 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
842
Here Comes The Sun0001Here Comes The Sun
43.0
 
1 43 43 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
843
How Do I Live0001How Do I Live
34.3
 
3 43 29 21.7 0 2 1 0 0
844
Hungry Like The Wolf0001Hungry Like The Wolf
43.0
 
1 43 43 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
845
Im Still Standing0001I'm Still Standing
32.0
 
2 43 21 17.5 0 1 1 0 0
846
Michelle0001Michelle
43.0
 
1 43 43 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
847
Note To God0001Note To God
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
848
Set Fire To The Rain0001Set Fire To The Rain
25.0
 
2 43 7 13.5 1 0 1 0 0
849
Umbrella0001Umbrella
27.0
 
2 43 11 21.0 1 0 1 0 0
850
Under The Boardwalk0001Under The Boardwalk
43.0
 
1 43 43 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
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