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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
Here Comes The Sun0001Here Comes The Sun
43.0
 
1 43 43 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
827
How Do I Live0001How Do I Live
34.3
 
3 43 29 21.7 0 2 1 0 0
828
Hungry Like The Wolf0001Hungry Like The Wolf
43.0
 
1 43 43 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
829
Im Still Standing0001I'm Still Standing
32.0
 
2 43 21 17.5 0 1 1 0 0
830
Michelle0001Michelle
43.0
 
1 43 43 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
831
Note To God0001Note To God
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
832
Umbrella0001Umbrella
27.0
 
2 43 11 21.0 1 0 1 0 0
833
Under The Boardwalk0001Under The Boardwalk
43.0
 
1 43 43 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
834
When The Lights Go Down0001When The Lights Go Down
31.5
 
2 43 20 18.0 0 1 1 0 0
835
Wishing On A Star0001Wishing On A Star
43.0
 
1 43 43 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
836
Arthurs Theme Best That You Can Do0001Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)
42.0
 
1 42 42 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
837
Better Dig Two0001Better Dig Two
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
838
Clarity0001Clarity
42.0
 
1 42 42 26.0 0 0 1 0 0
839
Give A Little More0001Give A Little More
42.0
 
1 42 42 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
840
Grease0001Grease
42.0
 
1 42 42 23.0 0 0 1 0 0
841
Hero - Kroeger Chad0001Hero
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
842
Holding Out For A Hero0001Holding Out For A Hero
42.0
 
1 42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
843
I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues0001I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues
42.0
 
1 42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
844
I Think I Love You0001I Think I Love You
42.0
 
1 42 42 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
845
I Try To Think About Elvis0001I Try To Think About Elvis
42.0
 
1 42 42 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
846
Like A Prayer0001Like A Prayer
42.0
 
1 42 42 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
847
Longer0001Longer
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
848
Maybe0001Maybe
42.0
 
1 42 42 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
849
Me And Mrs Jones0001Me And Mrs. Jones
42.0
 
1 42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
850
Rather Be0001Rather Be
42.0
 
1 42 42 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
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