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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
My Cherie Amour0001My Cherie Amour
29.0
 
4 48 18 15.8 1 2 1 0 0
827
No One Needs To Know0001No One Needs To Know
48.0
 
1 48 48 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
828
Not Fade Away0001Not Fade Away
48.0
 
1 48 48 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
829
Smile0001Smile
35.3
 
4 48 14 13.8 1 1 2 0 0
830
Teenage Dream0001Teenage Dream
48.0
 
1 48 48 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
831
Treat Me Nice0001Treat Me Nice
48.0
 
1 48 48 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
832
Wave On Wave0001Wave On Wave
48.0
 
1 48 48 23.0 0 0 1 0 0
833
Wild Horses0001Wild Horses
48.0
 
1 48 48 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
834
Youve Got A Friend In Me0001You've Got A Friend In Me
48.0
 
1 48 48 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
835
Cheek To Cheek0001Cheek To Cheek
35.5
 
2 47 24 19.0 0 1 1 0 0
836
Cross My Heart0001Cross My Heart
47.0
 
1 47 47 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
837
Dog Days Are Over0001Dog Days Are Over
47.0
 
1 47 47 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
838
I Want To Know What Love Is0001I Want To Know What Love Is
44.0
 
2 47 41 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
839
Ive Just Seen A Face0001I've Just Seen A Face
47.0
 
1 47 47 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
840
Lady0001Lady
47.0
 
1 47 47 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
841
Only Girl In The World0001Only Girl (In The World)
28.0
 
2 47 9 15.0 1 0 1 0 0
842
She Believes In Me0001She Believes In Me
38.0
 
2 47 29 24.0 0 1 1 0 0
843
Sky Blue Diamond0001Sky Blue Diamond
47.0
 
1 47 47 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
844
That's All0001That's All
  • Standard
47.0
 
1 47 47 14.0 0 0 1 0 0
845
Way We Were0001The Way We Were
47.0
 
2 47 47 22.0 0 0 2 0 0
846
Bad Romance0001Bad Romance
41.0
 
2 46 36 23.5 0 1 1 0 0
847
Chasing Pavements0001Chasing Pavements
46.0
 
1 46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
848
Corner Of The Sky0001Corner Of The Sky
46.0
 
1 46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
849
Dont Take Away The Music0001Don't Take Away The Music
46.0
 
1 46 46 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
850
Endless Love0001Endless Love
35.5
 
4 46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
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