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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
This Ole Boy0001This Ole Boy
46.0
 
1 46 46 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
827
When God Fearin Women Get The Blues0001When God-Fearin' Women Get The Blues
46.0
 
1 46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
828
When The Stars Go Blue0001When The Stars Go Blue
46.0
 
1 46 46 15.0 0 0 1 0 0
829
You Are My Lady0001You Are My Lady
46.0
 
1 46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
830
You Give Me Something0001You Give Me Something
46.0
 
1 46 46 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
831
All Night Long All Night0001All Night Long (All Night)
45.0
 
1 45 45 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
832
Apologize0001Apologize
24.0
 
2 45 3 13.0 1 0 1 0 0
833
Baby Please Don't Go0001Baby, Please Don't Go
45.0
 
1 45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
834
Beautiful Day0001Beautiful Day
32.0
 
2 45 19 16.5 1 0 1 0 0
835
Bring It On Home To Me0001Bring It On Home To Me
45.0
 
1 45 45 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
836
Closer To The Edge0001Closer To The Edge
45.0
 
1 45 45 15.0 0 0 1 0 0
837
Do I Make You Proud0001Do I Make You Proud
American Idol original song
45.0
 
1 45 45 13.0 0 0 1 0 0
838
Drink A Beer0001Drink A Beer
45.0
 
1 45 45 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
839
For Your Love0001For Your Love
45.0
 
1 45 45 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
840
Hard Hearted Hannah0001Hard-Hearted Hannah
45.0
 
1 45 45 12.0 0 0 1 0 0
841
I Love Rock and Roll0001I Love Rock and Roll
45.0
 
1 45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
842
One Two Three00011, 2, 3
45.0
 
1 45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
843
Real Good Man0001Real Good Man
45.0
 
1 45 45 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
844
Say Something Now0001Say Something Now
45.0
 
1 45 45 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
845
Sometimes I Cry0001Sometimes I Cry
45.0
 
1 45 45 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
846
This Ones For The Girls0001This One's For The Girls
45.0
 
1 45 45 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
847
Up On The Roof0001Up On The Roof
45.0
 
1 45 45 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
848
Voice Within0001The Voice Within
45.0
 
1 45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
849
Youre The Voice0001You're The Voice
45.0
 
1 45 45 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
850
Coat Of Many Colors0001Coat Of Many Colors
44.0
 
1 44 44 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
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