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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
Livin On A Prayer0001Livin' On A Prayer
15.0
 
1 15 15 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
802
Locked Out Of Heaven0001Locked Out Of Heaven
27.0
 
1 27 27 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
803
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
804
Long Long Road0001Long Long Road
American Idol original song
36.0
 
1 36 36 10.0 0 1 0 0 0
805
Long Train Runnin'0001Long Train Runnin'
19.0
 
1 19 19 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
806
Longer0001Longer
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
807
Look Of Love0001The Look Of Love
46.0
 
1 46 46 27.0 0 0 1 0 0
808
Lost0001Lost
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
809
Love All Over Me0001Love All Over Me
41.0
 
1 41 41 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
810
Love Came Down0001Love Came Down
66.0
 
1 66 66 26.0 0 0 0 1 0
811
Love Child0001Love Child
44.0
 
1 44 44 15.0 0 0 1 0 0
812
Love Don't Die0001Love Don't Die
22.0
 
1 22 22 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
813
Love Gets Me Every Time0001Love Gets Me Every Time
n/a
 
1 n/a
814
Love Hangover0001Love Hangover
53.0
 
1 53 53 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
815
Love Hurts0001Love Hurts
37.0
 
1 37 37 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
816
Love Me Tender0001Love Me Tender
54.0
 
1 54 54 27.0 0 0 1 0 0
817
Love On Top0001Love On Top
60.0
 
1 60 60 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
818
Love Potion Number Nine0001Love Potion No. 9
63.0
 
1 63 63 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
819
Love Runs Out0001Love Runs Out
n/a
 
1 n/a
820
Love Song Barielles Sara0001Love Song
24.0
 
1 24 24 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
821
Love The Way You Lie0001Love The Way You Lie
76.0
 
1 76 76 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
822
Love Will Keep Us Together0001Love Will Keep Us Together
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
823
Love You I Do0001Love You I Do
85.0
 
1 85 85 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
824
Lucky0001Lucky
9.0
 
1 9 9 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
825
Lucky Man0001Lucky Man
64.0
 
1 64 64 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
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