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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
201
Vehicle0001Vehicle
79.0
 
2 88 70 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
202
What Are You Listening To0001What Are You Listening To
70.0
 
1 70 70 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
203
Baba O'Riley0001Baba O'Riley
69.0
 
1 69 69 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
204
Blame It On Your Heart0001Blame It On Your Heart
69.0
 
1 69 69 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
205
Born To Be Wild0001Born To Be Wild
69.0
 
1 69 69 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
206
Cry Baby0001Cry Baby
69.0
 
1 69 69 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
207
Everybody Knows0001Everybody Knows
69.0
 
1 69 69 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
208
Here You Come Again0001Here You Come Again
69.0
 
1 69 69 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
209
I Am I Said0001I Am…I Said
69.0
 
1 69 69 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
210
Im A Woman0001I'm A Woman
78.5
 
2 88 69 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
211
Making Memories Of Us0001Making Memories Of Us
69.0
 
1 69 69 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
212
Mary Jane0001Mary Jane
69.0
 
1 69 69 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
213
People0001People
69.0
 
1 69 69 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
214
Play With Fire0001Play With Fire
69.0
 
1 69 69 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
215
Spinning Wheel0001Spinning Wheel
76.5
 
2 84 69 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
216
Undo It0001Undo It
69.0
 
1 69 69 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
217
Yellow0001Yellow
69.0
 
1 69 69 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
218
Your Song0001Your Song
69.0
 
1 69 69 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
219
Broken Heart0001Broken Heart
68.0
 
1 68 68 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
220
Have You Ever Been In Love0001Have You Ever Been In Love
68.0
 
1 68 68 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
221
I Could Not Ask For More0001I Could Not Ask For More
70.5
 
2 73 68 15.5 0 0 0 2 0
222
I Thank The Lord For The Night Time0001I Thank The Lord For The Night Time
68.0
 
1 68 68 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
223
I Will0001I Will
68.0
 
1 68 68 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
224
Im Not The Only One0001I'm Not The Only One
68.0
 
1 68 68 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
225
Ready For Love0001Ready For Love
73.7
 
3 78 68 18.0 0 0 0 3 0
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