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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
101
Beat It0001Beat It
25.0
 
2 26 24 23.0 0 2 0 0 0
102
Beautiful0001Beautiful
80.0
 
1 80 80 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
103
Beautiful Day0001Beautiful Day
32.0
 
2 45 19 16.5 1 0 1 0 0
104
Beautiful Disaster0001Beautiful Disaster
47.5
 
2 71 24 16.5 0 1 0 1 0
105
Beautiful Life0001Beautiful Life
American Idol original song
73.0
 
1 73 73 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
106
Beauty and the Beast0001Beauty and the Beast
80.0
 
1 80 80 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
107
Because Of You0001Because Of You
11.0
 
1 11 11 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
108
Because The Night0001Because The Night
40.0
 
2 59 21 16.0 0 1 1 0 0
109
Because You Love Me0001Because You Love Me
58.0
 
1 58 58 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
110
Because You Loved Me0001Because You Loved Me
27.0
 
3 51 13 13.0 2 0 1 0 0
111
Before Your Love0001Before Your Love
American Idol original song
59.0
 
2 74 44 16.5 0 0 1 1 0
112
Beggin0001Beggin'
61.0
 
1 61 61 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
113
Believe0001Believe
66.0
 
1 66 66 26.0 0 0 0 1 0
114
Believe In Yourself0001Believe In Yourself
64.0
 
1 64 64 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
115
Believer0001Believer
20.0
 
1 20 20 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
116
Ben0001Ben
26.0
 
1 26 26 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
117
Bennie And The Jets0001Bennie And The Jets
45.5
 
2 72 19 20.5 1 0 0 1 0
118
Besame Mucho0001Besame Mucho
48.0
 
1 48 48 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
119
Best Day Of My Life0001Best Day Of My Life
36.0
 
1 36 36 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
120
Best I Ever Had0001Best I Ever Had
10.0
 
1 10 10 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
121
Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)0001Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)
40.0
 
1 40 40 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
122
Best Of My Love0001Best Of My Love
33.5
 
2 63 4 15.0 1 0 0 1 0
123
Bette Davis Eyes0001Bette Davis Eyes
48.0
 
1 48 48 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
124
Better Days0001Better Days
31.0
 
1 31 31 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
125
Better Dig Two0001Better Dig Two
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
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