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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
Best Day Of My Life0001Best Day Of My Life
36.0
 
1 36 36 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
952
Cant Buy Me Love0001Can't Buy Me Love
36.0
 
1 36 36 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
953
Edge Of Seventeen0001Edge Of Seventeen
36.0
 
1 36 36 26.0 0 1 0 0 0
954
Here We Are0001Here We Are
36.0
 
1 36 36 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
955
I Wont Dance0001I Won't Dance
36.0
 
1 36 36 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
956
If Youre Not The One0001If You're Not The One
36.0
 
1 36 36 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
957
Incomplete0001Incomplete
36.0
 
1 36 36 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
958
Live For Loving You0001Live For Loving You
36.0
 
1 36 36 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
959
Long Long Road0001Long Long Road
American Idol original song
36.0
 
1 36 36 10.0 0 1 0 0 0
960
MacArthur Park0001MacArthur Park
31.5
 
2 36 27 22.5 0 2 0 0 0
961
Radio0001Radio
36.0
 
1 36 36 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
962
You Oughta Know0001You Oughta Know
36.0
 
1 36 36 26.0 0 1 0 0 0
963
Butterflies0001Butterflies
35.0
 
1 35 35 26.0 0 1 0 0 0
964
I Should Have Known Better0001I Should Have Known Better
35.0
 
1 35 35 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
965
I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)0001I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
35.0
 
1 35 35 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
966
Its Still Rock And Roll To Me0001It's Still Rock And Roll To Me
34.5
 
2 35 34 13.5 0 2 0 0 0
967
Keep Your Hands To Yourself0001Keep Your Hands To Yourself
35.0
 
1 35 35 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
968
On The Side Of Angels0001On The Side Of Angels
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
969
Reasons0001Reasons
33.5
 
2 35 32 21.0 0 2 0 0 0
970
Run To Me0001Run To Me
35.0
 
1 35 35 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
971
Soulmate0001Soulmate
35.0
 
1 35 35 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
972
Thats All0001That's All
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
973
This Old Heart Of Mine0001This Old Heart Of Mine
31.0
 
2 35 27 18.5 0 2 0 0 0
974
Walking In Memphis0001Walking In Memphis
35.0
 
1 35 35 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
975
What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted0001What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
31.0
 
2 35 27 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
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