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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
851
Nothing But The Water0001Nothing But The Water
40.0
 
1 40 40 26.0 0 0 1 0 0
852
Nothing Ever Hurt Like You0001Nothing Ever Hurt Like You
16.0
 
1 16 16 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
853
Now And Forever0001Now And Forever
34.0
 
1 34 34 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
854
Nowhere To Run0001Nowhere To Run
61.0
 
1 61 61 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
855
Nutbush City Limits0001Nutbush City Limits
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
856
Oh Boy0001Oh Boy
23.0
 
1 23 23 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
857
Oh No Not My Baby0001Oh No Not My Baby
23.0
 
1 23 23 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
858
OK Its Alright With Me0001OK, It's Alright With Me
19.0
 
1 19 19 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
859
Old Time Rock And Roll0001Old Time Rock And Roll
15.0
 
1 15 15 21.0 1 0 0 0 0
860
OMG0001OMG
5.0
 
1 5 5 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
861
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever0001On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
70.0
 
1 70 70 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
862
On Bended Knee0001On Bended Knee
31.0
 
1 31 31 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
863
On The Radio0001On The Radio
46.0
 
1 46 46 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
864
On The Side Of Angels0001On The Side Of Angels
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
865
One0001One
61.0
 
1 61 61 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
866
One Hand One Heart0001One Hand, One Heart
From: West Side Story
37.0
 
1 37 37 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
867
One Mississippi0001One Mississippi
61.0
 
1 61 61 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
868
One Rock N Roll Too Many0001One Rock 'N' Roll Too Many
From: Starlight Express
79.0
 
1 79 79 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
869
One Sweet Day0001One Sweet Day
32.0
 
1 32 32 12.0 0 1 0 0 0
870
One Two Three00011, 2, 3
45.0
 
1 45 45 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
871
One Voice0001One Voice
57.0
 
1 57 57 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
872
Only The Good Die Young0001Only The Good Die Young
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
873
Open My Heart0001Open My Heart
46.0
 
1 46 46 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
874
Orange Colored Sky0001Orange Colored Sky
60.0
 
1 60 60 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
875
Ordinary Girl0001Ordinary Girl
21.0
 
1 21 21 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
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