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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
I Love Music0001I Love Music
55.0
 
1 55 55 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
802
I Love Rock and Roll0001I Love Rock and Roll
45.0
 
1 45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
803
I Love You This Big0001I Love You This Big
American Idol original song
25.0
 
1 25 25 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
804
I Need To Know0001I Need To Know
73.0
 
1 73 73 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
805
I Need You Now0001I Need You Now
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
806
I Saw Her Standing There0001I Saw Her Standing There
25.0
 
1 25 25 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
807
I See Fire0001I See Fire
62.0
 
1 62 62 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
808
I Shot The Sheriff0001I Shot The Sheriff
9.0
 
1 9 9 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
809
I Should Have Known Better0001I Should Have Known Better
35.0
 
1 35 35 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
810
I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For0001I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
67.0
 
1 67 67 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
811
I Swear0001I Swear
25.0
 
1 25 25 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
812
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
813
I Think I Love You0001I Think I Love You
42.0
 
1 42 42 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
814
I Told You So0001I Told You So
74.0
 
1 74 74 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
815
I Try To Think About Elvis0001I Try To Think About Elvis
42.0
 
1 42 42 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
816
I Turn To You0001I Turn To You
58.0
 
1 58 58 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
817
I Walk The Line0001I Walk The Line
75.0
 
1 75 75 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
818
I Wanna Be Where You Are0001I Wanna Be Where You Are
31.0
 
1 31 31 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
819
I Wanna Love You Forever0001I Wanna Love You Forever
13.0
 
1 13 13 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
820
I Wanna Rock0001I Wanna Rock
32.0
 
1 32 32 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
821
I Want It All0001I Want It All
71.0
 
1 71 71 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
822
I Want It That Way0001I Want It That Way
17.0
 
1 17 17 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
823
I Want You To Need Me0001I Want You To Need Me
61.0
 
1 61 61 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
824
I Want You To Want Me0001I Want You To Want Me
28.0
 
1 28 28 9.0 0 1 0 0 0
825
I Will0001I Will
68.0
 
1 68 68 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
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