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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
Up To The Mountain0001Up To The Mountain
83.3
 
3 89 78 11.7 0 0 0 1 2
102
Where Do Broken Hearts Go0001Where Do Broken Hearts Go
78.5
 
2 79 78 15.0 0 0 0 2 0
103
All I Really Need Is You0001All I Really Need Is You
77.0
 
1 77 77 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
104
Blaze Of Glory0001Blaze Of Glory
77.0
 
1 77 77 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
105
Daydream0001Daydream
77.0
 
1 77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
106
Dont0001Don't
77.0
 
1 77 77 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
107
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
108
I Hope You Dance0001I Hope You Dance
77.0
 
1 77 77 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
109
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
110
Over The Rainbow0001Over The Rainbow
81.8
 
4 90 77 18.3 0 0 0 2 2
111
This Aint A Love Song0001This Ain't A Love Song
77.0
 
1 77 77 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
112
Wings0001Wings
77.0
 
1 77 77 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
113
Always Be My Baby0001Always Be My Baby
76.0
 
1 76 76 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
114
Barracuda0001Barracuda
76.0
 
1 76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
115
Im Here0001I'm Here
76.0
 
1 76 76 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
116
It Had To Be You0001It Had To Be You
  • Standard
76.0
 
1 76 76 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
117
Love The Way You Lie0001Love The Way You Lie
76.0
 
1 76 76 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
118
My Generation0001My Generation
76.0
 
1 76 76 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
119
Summertime Sadness0001Summertime Sadness
76.0
 
1 76 76 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
120
Thinking Out Loud0001Thinking Out Loud
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
121
Where The Blacktop Ends0001Where The Blacktop Ends
76.0
 
1 76 76 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
122
Back Home0001Back Home
75.0
 
1 75 75 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
123
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
124
Heaven Knows0001Heaven Knows
75.0
 
1 75 75 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
125
House Of Rising Sun0001House Of The Rising Sun
84.5
 
2 94 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
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