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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
126
Minnie The Moocher0001Minnie The Moocher
84.0
 
1 84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
127
One And Only0001One And Only
67.5
 
2 84 51 15.5 0 0 1 0 1
128
Power Of Love 10001The Power Of Love
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
129
Prayer0001The Prayer
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
130
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
131
Skyfall0001Skyfall
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
132
Spinning Wheel0001Spinning Wheel
76.5
 
2 84 69 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
133
Still Of The Night0001Still Of The Night
84.0
 
1 84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
134
Think0001Think
69.8
 
4 84 36 17.8 0 1 0 1 2
135
Trouble Is A Woman0001Trouble Is A Woman
84.0
 
1 84 84 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
136
Where The Boys Are0001Where The Boys Are
45.0
 
2 84 6 12.5 1 0 0 0 1
137
Fool In Love0001Fool In Love
82.0
 
2 83 81 13.5 0 0 0 0 2
138
Give In To Me0001Give In To Me
83.0
 
1 83 83 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
139
I Believe0001I Believe
American Idol original song
43.2
 
6 83 22 16.7 0 4 1 0 1
140
Its All Wrong But Its Alright0001It's All Wrong But It's Alright
83.0
 
1 83 83 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
141
Midnight Train To Georgia0001Midnight Train To Georgia
76.7
 
3 83 72 15.3 0 0 0 2 1
142
Power Of Love 20001The Power Of Love
59.2
 
5 83 30 17.8 0 1 1 2 1
143
Say Something0001Say Something
72.5
 
2 83 62 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
144
Simple Man0001Simple Man
63.7
 
3 83 37 16.3 0 1 0 1 1
145
Sunday Morning0001Sunday Morning
83.0
 
1 83 83 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
146
You Give Love A Bad Name0001You Give Love A Bad Name
60.0
 
5 83 30 21.8 0 1 1 2 1
147
Youre So Vain0001You're So Vain
83.0
 
1 83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
148
Youve Got Another Thing Comin'0001You've Got Another Thing Comin'
83.0
 
1 83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
149
A Broken Wing0001A Broken Wing
66.0
 
5 82 41 18.0 0 0 1 3 1
150
Black Or White0001Black Or White
82.0
 
1 82 82 29.0 0 0 0 0 1
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