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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
All Of Me0001All Of Me
74.0
 
1 74 74 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
127
Babylon0001Babylon
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
128
Home0001Home
American Idol original song
74.0
 
1 74 74 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
129
I Drove All Night0001I Drove All Night
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
130
Like My Mother Does0001Like My Mother Does
74.0
 
1 74 74 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
131
Little Sparrow0001Little Sparrow
74.0
 
1 74 74 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
132
Love Will Keep Us Together0001Love Will Keep Us Together
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
133
Never Gone0001Never Gone
74.0
 
1 74 74 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
134
Smoky Mountain Memories0001Smoky Mountain Memories
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
135
Tightrope0001Tightrope
74.0
 
1 74 74 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
136
Time In A Bottle0001Time In A Bottle
74.0
 
1 74 74 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
137
Weve Got Tonight0001We've Got Tonight
74.0
 
1 74 74 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
138
A Team0001The A Team
73.0
 
1 73 73 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
139
For All We Know0001For All We Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
140
Halo0001Halo
73.0
 
1 73 73 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
141
I Need To Know0001I Need To Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
142
Living For The City0001Living For The City
77.3
 
3 84 73 15.3 0 0 0 2 1
143
Still Rainin0001Still Rainin'
73.0
 
1 73 73 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
144
Tell Her About It0001Tell Her About It
73.0
 
1 73 73 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
145
That's All Right0001That's All Right
73.0
 
1 73 73 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
146
Virtual Insanity0001Virtual Insanity
73.0
 
1 73 73 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
147
Walk On By0001Walk On By
73.0
 
1 73 73 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
148
Wicked Game0001Wicked Game
73.0
 
1 73 73 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
149
You Send Me0001You Send Me
73.0
 
1 73 73 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
150
Blackbird0001Blackbird
72.0
 
1 72 72 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
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