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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
Father Figure0001Father Figure
78.0
 
1 78 78 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
102
Up To The Mountain0001Up To The Mountain
83.3
 
3 89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
103
Where Do Broken Hearts Go0001Where Do Broken Hearts Go
78.5
 
2 79 78 15.0 0 0 0 2 0
104
All I Really Need Is You0001All I Really Need Is You
77.0
 
1 77 77 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
105
Blaze Of Glory0001Blaze Of Glory
77.0
 
1 77 77 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
106
Daydream0001Daydream
77.0
 
1 77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
107
Dont0001Don't
77.0
 
1 77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
108
Dont Ever Let Your Children Grow Up0001Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up
77.0
 
1 77 77 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
109
Earned It0001Earned It
77.5
 
2 78 77 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
110
Help Me Make It Through The Night0001Help Me Make It Through The Night
77.0
 
1 77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
111
I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)0001I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)
78.5
 
2 80 77 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
112
Once Upon A Dream0001Once Upon A Dream
77.0
 
1 77 77 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
113
Over The Rainbow0001Over The Rainbow
81.8
 
4 90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
114
This Aint A Love Song0001This Ain't A Love Song
77.0
 
1 77 77 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
115
Wings0001Wings
77.0
 
1 77 77 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
116
All Along The Watchtower0001All Along The Watchtower
76.0
 
1 76 76 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
117
Always Be My Baby0001Always Be My Baby
76.0
 
1 76 76 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
118
Flashlight0001Flashlight
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
119
Im Here0001I'm Here
76.0
 
1 76 76 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
120
It Had To Be You0001It Had To Be You
  • Standard
76.0
 
1 76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
121
Love The Way You Lie0001Love The Way You Lie
76.0
 
1 76 76 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
122
My Generation0001My Generation
76.0
 
1 76 76 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
123
Summertime Sadness0001Summertime Sadness
76.0
 
1 76 76 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
124
Thinking Out Loud0001Thinking Out Loud
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
125
Where The Blacktop Ends0001Where The Blacktop Ends
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
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