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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
951
Keep Your Hands To Yourself0001Keep Your Hands To Yourself
35.0
 
1 35 35 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
952
On The Side Of Angels0001On The Side Of Angels
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
953
Only The Good Die Young0001Only The Good Die Young
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
954
Reasons0001Reasons
33.5
 
2 35 32 21.0 0 2 0 0 0
955
Run To Me0001Run To Me
35.0
 
1 35 35 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
956
Soulmate0001Soulmate
35.0
 
1 35 35 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
957
Thats All0001That's All
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
958
This Old Heart Of Mine0001This Old Heart Of Mine
31.0
 
2 35 27 18.5 0 2 0 0 0
959
Walking In Memphis0001Walking In Memphis
35.0
 
1 35 35 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
960
What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted0001What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
31.0
 
2 35 27 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
961
Where Did Our Love Go0001Where Did Our Love Go
35.0
 
1 35 35 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
962
Back At One0001Back At One
20.0
 
2 34 6 13.0 1 1 0 0 0
963
Dont Stop0001Don't Stop
34.0
 
1 34 34 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
964
Hicktown0001Hicktown
34.0
 
1 34 34 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
965
Hit Me Up0001Hit Me Up
34.0
 
1 34 34 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
966
In This Moment0001In This Moment
American Idol original song
34.0
 
1 34 34 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
967
Jeremy0001Jeremy
34.0
 
1 34 34 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
968
Now And Forever0001Now And Forever
34.0
 
1 34 34 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
969
Stand Up For Love0001Stand Up For Love
34.0
 
1 34 34 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
970
Storm Warning0001Storm Warning
34.0
 
1 34 34 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
971
Young Blood0001Young Blood
34.0
 
1 34 34 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
972
Blank Space0001Blank Space
33.0
 
1 33 33 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
973
Boondocks0001Boondocks
33.0
 
1 33 33 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
974
Caught Up In The Rapture0001Caught Up In The Rapture
33.0
 
1 33 33 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
975
Comin' From Where I'm From0001Comin' From Where I'm From
33.0
 
1 33 33 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
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