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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
Mamma Knows Best0001Mamma Knows Best
85.0
 
1 85 85 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
852
Man I Feel Like A Woman0001Man! I Feel Like A Woman
41.0
 
1 41 41 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
853
Mandolin Rain0001Mandolin Rain
63.0
 
1 63 63 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
854
Mandy0001Mandy
31.0
 
1 31 31 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
855
Maria Maria0001Maria Maria
29.0
 
1 29 29 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
856
Mary Jane0001Mary Jane
69.0
 
1 69 69 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
857
Maybe0001Maybe
42.0
 
1 42 42 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
858
Maybe It Was Memphis0001Maybe It Was Memphis
55.0
 
1 55 55 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
859
Mayberry0001Mayberry
18.0
 
1 18 18 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
860
Me And Mrs Jones0001Me And Mrs. Jones
42.0
 
1 42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
861
Memory0001Memory
From: Cats
14.0
 
1 14 14 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
862
Michelle0001Michelle
43.0
 
1 43 43 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
863
Minnie The Moocher0001Minnie The Moocher
84.0
 
1 84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
864
Miss You0001Miss You
48.0
 
1 48 48 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
865
Missing You 10001Missing You
52.0
 
1 52 52 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
866
Missing You 20001Missing You
30.0
 
1 30 30 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
867
Moodys Mood For Love0001Moody's Mood For Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
868
Moves Like Jagger0001Moves Like Jagger
37.0
 
1 37 37 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
869
Mr Know It All0001Mr. Know It All
8.0
 
1 8 8 5.0 1 0 0 0 0
870
Mr. Melody0001Mr. Melody
26.0
 
1 26 26 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
871
Mr. Tambourine Man0001Mr. Tambourine Man
17.0
 
1 17 17 20.0 1 0 0 0 0
872
Mrs. Robinson0001Mrs. Robinson
44.0
 
1 44 44 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
873
Muckalee Creek Water0001Muckalee Creek Water
40.0
 
1 40 40 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
874
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
875
Mustang Sally0001Mustang Sally
51.0
 
1 51 51 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
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