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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
201
I Hope You Dance0001I Hope You Dance
77.0
 
1 77 77 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
202
I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)0001I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
42.0
 
3 72 22 17.3 0 2 0 1 0
203
I Know You Wont0001I Know You Won't
66.0
 
1 66 66 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
204
I Need To Know0001I Need To Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
205
I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)0001I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)
78.5
 
2 80 77 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
206
I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For0001I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
67.0
 
1 67 67 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
207
I Thank The Lord For The Night Time0001I Thank The Lord For The Night Time
68.0
 
1 68 68 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
208
I Walk The Line0001I Walk The Line
75.0
 
1 75 75 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
209
I Want It All0001I Want It All
71.0
 
1 71 71 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
210
I Want You To Need Me0001I Want You To Need Me
61.0
 
1 61 61 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
211
I Who Have Nothing0001I (Who Have Nothing)
85.4
 
5 92 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 4
212
I Will0001I Will
68.0
 
1 68 68 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
213
I Will Survive0001I Will Survive
63.5
 
2 72 55 15.5 0 0 1 1 0
214
I Wish0001I Wish
65.0
 
1 65 65 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
215
If I Can Dream0001If I Can Dream
61.5
 
2 72 51 21.0 0 0 1 1 0
216
If I Cant Have You0001If I Can't Have You
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
217
If We Hold On Together0001If We Hold On Together
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
218
If You Asked Me To0001If You Asked Me To
72.0
 
1 72 72 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
219
If You Really Love Me0001If You Really Love Me
52.7
 
3 74 37 16.3 0 1 1 1 0
220
Ill Be0001I'll Be
54.6
 
5 81 22 17.4 0 1 2 1 1
221
Ill Be There0001I'll Be There
47.0
 
3 61 38 20.3 0 1 1 1 0
222
Ill Be There For You0001I'll Be There For You
62.0
 
1 62 62 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
223
Im A Woman0001I'm A Woman
78.5
 
2 88 69 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
224
Im Already There0001I'm Already There
42.0
 
2 61 23 21.5 0 1 0 1 0
225
Im Alright0001I'm Alright
67.0
 
1 67 67 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
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