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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
1
A Little Less Conversation0001A Little Less Conversation
41.0
 
5 72 28 21.8 0 4 0 1 0
2
I Believe0001I Believe
American Idol original song
43.2
 
6 83 22 16.7 0 4 1 0 1
3
Crazy Little Thing Called Love0001Crazy Little Thing Called Love
31.2
 
6 62 13 19.2 2 3 0 1 0
4
Endless Love0001Endless Love
35.5
 
4 46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
5
How Am I Supposed To Live Without You0001How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
40.5
 
4 62 25 19.5 0 3 0 1 0
6
I Believe I Can Fly0001I Believe I Can Fly
38.0
 
5 59 21 21.0 0 3 2 0 0
7
Rocket Man0001Rocket Man
30.0
 
3 39 24 23.0 0 3 0 0 0
8
Superstition0001Superstition
49.5
 
6 65 35 20.8 0 3 0 3 0
9
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)0001Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
31.6
 
7 59 2 15.1 2 2 3 0 0
10
All By Myself0001All By Myself
56.8
 
5 92 23 15.0 0 2 0 1 2
11
All In Love Is Fair0001All In Love Is Fair
41.6
 
5 75 16 19.2 1 2 1 1 0
12
Amazed0001Amazed
36.2
 
5 54 12 18.6 1 2 2 0 0
13
American Woman0001American Woman
25.0
 
2 25 25 15.5 0 2 0 0 0
14
Breakaway0001Breakaway
23.7
 
3 29 19 15.3 1 2 0 0 0
15
Breathe0001Breathe
24.5
 
2 28 21 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
16
For Once In My Life0001For Once In My Life
35.6
 
5 72 14 17.2 1 2 1 1 0
17
Hard To Handle0001Hard To Handle
43.0
 
3 66 31 21.3 0 2 0 1 0
18
Heat Wave0001Heat Wave
43.8
 
5 61 34 17.0 0 2 2 1 0
19
Hopelessly Devoted To You0001Hopelessly Devoted To You
35.5
 
2 38 33 18.5 0 2 0 0 0
20
How Do I Live0001How Do I Live
34.3
 
3 43 29 21.7 0 2 1 0 0
21
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)0001How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
34.5
 
4 68 17 15.8 1 2 0 1 0
22
I Dont Want To Miss A Thing0001I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
41.1
 
8 68 13 18.1 1 2 3 2 0
23
I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)0001I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
41.7
 
3 72 21 17.3 0 2 0 1 0
24
I Need You0001I Need You
31.0
 
2 37 25 20.5 0 2 0 0 0
25
Im Your Baby Tonight0001I'm Your Baby Tonight
30.5
 
2 31 30 21.5 0 2 0 0 0
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