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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
Best Of My Love0001Best Of My Love
34.5
 
2 63 6 15.0 1 0 0 1 0
102
Bette Davis Eyes0001Bette Davis Eyes
48.0
 
1 48 48 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
103
Better Days0001Better Days
31.0
 
1 31 31 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
104
Better Dig Two0001Better Dig Two
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
105
Better With You0001Better With You
26.0
 
1 26 26 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
106
Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered0001Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered
From: Pal Joey
9.0
 
1 9 9 8.0 1 0 0 0 0
107
Big Girls Dont Cry0001Big Girls Don't Cry
44.5
 
2 53 36 17.0 0 1 1 0 0
108
Billie Jean0001Billie Jean
95.0
 
1 95 95 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
109
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree0001Black Horse And The Cherry Tree
55.7
 
3 81 34 18.3 0 1 1 0 1
110
Black Or White0001Black Or White
82.0
 
1 82 82 29.0 0 0 0 0 1
111
Black Velvet0001Black Velvet
56.5
 
2 57 56 25.5 0 0 2 0 0
112
Blackbird0001Blackbird
72.0
 
1 72 72 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
113
Blame It On The Sun0001Blame It On The Sun
18.0
 
1 18 18 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
114
Blame It On Your Heart0001Blame It On Your Heart
69.0
 
1 69 69 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
115
Blaze Of Glory0001Blaze Of Glory
77.0
 
1 77 77 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
116
Bleeding Love0001Bleeding Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
117
Bless The Broken Road0001Bless The Broken Road
67.0
 
1 67 67 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
118
Blue0001Blue
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
119
Blue Eyed Lie0001Blue Eyed Lie
87.0
 
1 87 87 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
120
Blue Skies0001Blue Skies
22.0
 
1 22 22 11.0 0 1 0 0 0
121
Blue Suede Shoes0001Blue Suede Shoes
41.0
 
1 41 41 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
122
Bohemian Rhapsody0001Bohemian Rhapsody
57.3
 
3 90 38 22.7 0 1 1 0 1
123
Bold As Love0001Bold As Love
43.0
 
1 43 43 27.0 0 0 1 0 0
124
Boondocks0001Boondocks
34.0
 
1 34 34 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
125
Born This Way0001Born This Way
49.5
 
2 65 34 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
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