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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
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
102
I Hope You Dance0001I Hope You Dance
77.0
 
1 77 77 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
103
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
104
Maybe Im Amazed0001Maybe I'm Amazed
77.5
 
2 78 77 17.0 0 0 0 2 0
105
Over The Rainbow0001Over The Rainbow
81.8
 
4 90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
106
This Aint A Love Song0001This Ain't A Love Song
77.0
 
1 77 77 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
107
Always Be My Baby0001Always Be My Baby
76.0
 
1 76 76 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
108
Im Here0001I'm Here
76.0
 
1 76 76 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
109
It Had To Be You0001It Had To Be You
  • Standard
76.0
 
1 76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
110
Love The Way You Lie0001Love The Way You Lie
76.0
 
1 76 76 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
111
Where The Blacktop Ends0001Where The Blacktop Ends
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
112
All Of Me0001All Of Me
75.0
 
1 75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
113
Didnt You Know How Much I Loved You0001Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You
75.0
 
1 75 75 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
114
Heaven Knows0001Heaven Knows
75.0
 
1 75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
115
House Of Rising Sun0001House Of The Rising Sun
84.5
 
2 94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
116
I Walk The Line0001I Walk The Line
75.0
 
1 75 75 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
117
I Who Have Nothing0001I (Who Have Nothing)
85.4
 
5 92 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 4
118
If We Hold On Together0001If We Hold On Together
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
119
Never0001Never
75.0
 
1 75 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
120
Sugar Were Goin Down0001Sugar, We're Goin' Down
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
121
Think Twice0001Think Twice
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
122
Turn On The Radio0001Turn On The Radio
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
123
Way You Make Me Feel0001The Way You Make Me Feel
75.0
 
1 75 75 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
124
Home0001Home
American Idol original song
74.0
 
1 74 74 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
125
I Drove All Night0001I Drove All Night
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
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