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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
You Give Love A Bad Name0001You Give Love A Bad Name
63.3
 
3 83 30 22.7 0 1 0 1 1
127
Youre So Vain0001You're So Vain
83.0
 
1 83 83 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
128
Youve Got Another Thing Comin'0001You've Got Another Thing Comin'
83.0
 
1 83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
129
A Broken Wing0001A Broken Wing
72.3
 
4 82 68 19.5 0 0 0 3 1
130
Black Or White0001Black Or White
82.0
 
1 82 82 29.0 0 0 0 0 1
131
Bleeding Love0001Bleeding Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
132
Donít Make Me Over0001Don’t Make Me Over
82.0
 
1 82 82 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
133
Eleanor Rigby0001Eleanor Rigby
56.3
 
3 82 36 19.3 0 1 1 0 1
134
Get Here0001Get Here
51.3
 
4 82 13 19.3 1 0 1 1 1
135
God Bless The Child0001God Bless The Child
54.3
 
4 82 21 19.8 0 1 1 1 1
136
I Can't Help Myself Sugar Pie Honey Bunch0001I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
41.0
 
4 82 6 13.8 1 1 1 0 1
137
I Dont Want To Be0001I Don't Want To Be
53.3
 
6 82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
138
I Need You Now0001I Need You Now
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
139
Light My Fire0001Light My Fire
64.5
 
2 82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
140
Moodys Mood For Love0001Moody's Mood For Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
141
Rolling In Deep0001Rolling In The Deep
75.7
 
3 82 68 24.3 0 0 0 2 1
142
Shes A Woman0001She's A Woman
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
143
Somewhere Out There0001Somewhere Out There
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
144
There Will Come A Day0001There Will Come A Day
82.0
 
1 82 82 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
145
These Foolish Things0001These Foolish Things
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
146
Without You0001Without You
55.6
 
5 82 39 20.4 0 1 2 1 1
147
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree0001Black Horse And The Cherry Tree
55.7
 
3 81 34 18.3 0 1 1 0 1
148
Candle In The Wind0001Candle In The Wind
81.0
 
1 81 81 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
149
Heaven 20001Heaven
81.0
 
1 81 81 20.0 0 0 0 0 1
150
How Come U Dont Call Me Anymore0001How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?
81.0
 
1 81 81 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
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