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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
Get Here0001Get Here
51.3
 
4 82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
202
Gimme Shelter0001Gimme Shelter
49.0
 
2 79 19 18.5 1 0 0 1 0
203
Glitter In Air0001Glitter In The Air
67.0
 
1 67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
204
Go Light Your World0001Go Light Your World
64.0
 
1 64 64 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
205
Go Rest High On That Mountain0001Go Rest High On That Mountain
61.0
 
1 61 61 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
206
God Bless The Child0001God Bless The Child
54.3
 
4 82 21 19.8 0 1 1 1 1
207
God Only Knows0001God Only Knows
59.0
 
2 74 44 25.0 0 0 1 1 0
208
Golden Slumbers0001Golden Slumbers
62.0
 
1 62 62 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
209
Gravity0001Gravity
42.0
 
2 60 24 19.5 0 1 0 1 0
210
Greatest Love Of All0001Greatest Love Of All
48.5
 
2 73 24 16.5 0 1 0 1 0
211
Grow Old With You0001Grow Old With You
66.0
 
1 66 66 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
212
Hallelujah0001Hallelujah
65.5
 
4 86 51 22.3 0 0 2 1 1
213
Hand In My Pocket0001Hand In My Pocket
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
214
Hard Times No One Knows Better Than I0001Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)
63.0
 
1 63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
215
Hard To Handle0001Hard To Handle
43.0
 
3 66 31 21.3 0 2 0 1 0
216
Havana0001Havana
67.0
 
1 67 67 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
217
Have You Ever Been In Love0001Have You Ever Been In Love
68.0
 
1 68 68 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
218
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?0001Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
49.0
 
3 65 35 19.3 0 1 1 1 0
219
Heartbreaker0001Heartbreaker
52.3
 
3 66 40 17.0 0 0 2 1 0
220
Heat Wave0001Heat Wave
43.8
 
5 61 34 17.0 0 2 2 1 0
221
Heaven 10001Heaven
57.8
 
4 84 34 17.0 0 1 1 1 1
222
Heaven Knows0001Heaven Knows
75.0
 
1 75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
223
Heavy Metal0001Heavy Metal
71.0
 
1 71 71 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
224
Hello0001Hello
67.0
 
1 67 67 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
225
Hello Young Lovers0001Hello, Young Lovers
From: The King And I
62.0
 
1 62 62 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
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