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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
Moodys Mood For Love0001Moody's Mood For Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
852
Moves Like Jagger0001Moves Like Jagger
37.0
 
1 37 37 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
853
Mr Know It All0001Mr. Know It All
8.0
 
1 8 8 5.0 1 0 0 0 0
854
Mr. Melody0001Mr. Melody
26.0
 
1 26 26 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
855
Mr. Tambourine Man0001Mr. Tambourine Man
17.0
 
1 17 17 20.0 1 0 0 0 0
856
Mrs. Robinson0001Mrs. Robinson
44.0
 
1 44 44 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
857
Muckalee Creek Water0001Muckalee Creek Water
40.0
 
1 40 40 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
858
Music Of The Night0001The Music Of The Night
From: The Phantom Of The Opera
87.0
 
1 87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
859
Mustang Sally0001Mustang Sally
51.0
 
1 51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
860
My All0001My All
41.0
 
1 41 41 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
861
My Body0001My Body
64.0
 
1 64 64 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
862
My Destiny0001My Destiny
American Idol original song
13.0
 
1 13 13 9.0 1 0 0 0 0
863
My Life0001My Life
24.0
 
1 24 24 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
864
My Love0001My Love
55.0
 
1 55 55 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
865
My Prerogative0001My Prerogative
62.0
 
1 62 62 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
866
Nature Boy0001Nature Boy
37.0
 
1 37 37 26.0 0 1 0 0 0
867
Never0001Never
75.0
 
1 75 75 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
868
Never Gone0001Never Gone
74.0
 
1 74 74 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
869
Never Tear Us Apart0001Never Tear Us Apart
37.0
 
1 37 37 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
870
Next To Me0001Next To Me
60.0
 
1 60 60 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
871
Night And Day0001Night And Day
32.0
 
1 32 32 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
872
Nights In White Satin0001Nights In White Satin
12.0
 
1 12 12 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
873
No Air0001No Air
7.0
 
1 7 7 11.0 1 0 0 0 0
874
No More Drama0001No More Drama
49.0
 
1 49 49 28.0 0 0 1 0 0
875
No One Else On Earth0001No One Else On Earth
40.0
 
1 40 40 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
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