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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
I Walk The Line0001I Walk The Line
75.0
 
1 75 75 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
127
I Who Have Nothing0001I (Who Have Nothing)
85.4
 
5 92 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 4
128
If We Hold On Together0001If We Hold On Together
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
129
Never0001Never
75.0
 
1 75 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
130
Sugar Were Goin Down0001Sugar, We're Goin' Down
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
131
Think Twice0001Think Twice
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
132
Turn On The Radio0001Turn On The Radio
75.0
 
1 75 75 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
133
Way You Make Me Feel0001The Way You Make Me Feel
75.0
 
1 75 75 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
134
All Of Me0001All Of Me
74.0
 
1 74 74 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
135
Babylon0001Babylon
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
136
Home0001Home
American Idol original song
74.0
 
1 74 74 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
137
I Drove All Night0001I Drove All Night
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
138
Like My Mother Does0001Like My Mother Does
74.0
 
1 74 74 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
139
Little Sparrow0001Little Sparrow
74.0
 
1 74 74 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
140
Love Will Keep Us Together0001Love Will Keep Us Together
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
141
Never Gone0001Never Gone
74.0
 
1 74 74 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
142
Smoky Mountain Memories0001Smoky Mountain Memories
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
143
Tightrope0001Tightrope
76.5
 
2 79 74 16.0 0 0 0 2 0
144
Time In A Bottle0001Time In A Bottle
74.0
 
1 74 74 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
145
Weve Got Tonight0001We've Got Tonight
74.0
 
1 74 74 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
146
A Team0001The A Team
73.0
 
1 73 73 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
147
Beautiful Life0001Beautiful Life
American Idol original song
73.0
 
1 73 73 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
148
For All We Know0001For All We Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
149
Halo0001Halo
73.0
 
1 73 73 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
150
I Need To Know0001I Need To Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
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