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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
801
King Of Spain0001King Of Spain
61.0
 
1 61 61 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
802
King Of The Road0001King Of The Road
50.0
 
1 50 50 23.0 0 0 1 0 0
803
Kiss0001Kiss
39.0
 
1 39 39 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
804
Kiss And Say Goodbye0001Kiss And Say Goodbye
87.0
 
1 87 87 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
805
Kiss Me0001Kiss Me
30.0
 
1 30 30 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
806
Lady0001Lady
47.0
 
1 47 47 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
807
Landslide0001Landslide
7.0
 
1 7 7 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
808
Lawdy Miss Clawdy0001Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
51.0
 
1 51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
809
Lego House0001Lego House
50.0
 
1 50 50 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
810
Let Her Go0001Let Her Go
29.0
 
1 29 29 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
811
Let It Go0001Let It Go
15.0
 
1 15 15 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
812
Lets Get Loud0001Let's Get Loud
26.0
 
1 26 26 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
813
Let's Groove0001Let's Groove
19.0
 
1 19 19 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
814
Letters From Home0001Letters From Home
65.0
 
1 65 65 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
815
Like A Prayer0001Like A Prayer
42.0
 
1 42 42 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
816
Like My Mother Does0001Like My Mother Does
74.0
 
1 74 74 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
817
Lips Are Moving0001Lips Are Moving
66.0
 
1 66 66 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
818
Lips Of An Angel0001Lips Of An Angel
70.0
 
1 70 70 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
819
Listen0001Listen
68.0
 
1 68 68 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
820
Little Sparrow0001Little Sparrow
74.0
 
1 74 74 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
821
Live For Loving You0001Live For Loving You
36.0
 
1 36 36 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
822
Livin On A Prayer0001Livin' On A Prayer
15.0
 
1 15 15 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
823
Locked Out Of Heaven0001Locked Out Of Heaven
27.0
 
1 27 27 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
824
Long As I Can See The Light0001Long As I Can See The Light
90.0
 
1 90 90 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
825
Long Long Road0001Long Long Road
American Idol original song
36.0
 
1 36 36 10.0 0 1 0 0 0
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