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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
826
Put Your Records On0001Put Your Records On
39.7
 
3 58 17 17.0 1 0 2 0 0
827
PYT Pretty Young Thing0001P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
45.0
 
2 73 17 18.0 1 0 0 1 0
828
Queen Of The Night0001Queen Of The Night
31.0
 
1 31 31 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
829
Radio0001Radio
36.0
 
1 36 36 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
830
Raining On Sunday0001Raining On Sunday
30.0
 
1 30 30 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
831
Rather Be0001Rather Be
41.0
 
1 41 41 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
832
Ready For Love0001Ready For Love
71.5
 
2 75 68 20.5 0 0 0 2 0
833
Real Good Man0001Real Good Man
45.0
 
1 45 45 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
834
Reasons0001Reasons
33.5
 
2 35 32 21.0 0 2 0 0 0
835
Reflection0001Reflection
61.5
 
4 78 54 17.8 0 0 3 1 0
836
Remedy0001Remedy
53.0
 
1 53 53 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
837
Remember The Time0001Remember The Time
57.0
 
1 57 57 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
838
Renegade0001Renegade
55.5
 
2 79 32 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
839
Rescue Me0001Rescue Me
22.0
 
1 22 22 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
840
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
841
Rhiannon0001Rhiannon
69.3
 
3 72 66 17.3 0 0 0 3 0
842
Rhythm Is Gonna Get You0001Rhythm Is Gonna Get You
60.0
 
2 69 51 18.0 0 0 1 1 0
843
Ribbon In The Sky0001Ribbon In The Sky
44.0
 
3 61 29 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
844
Right Here Waiting0001Right Here Waiting
17.0
 
1 17 17 8.0 1 0 0 0 0
845
Ring Of Fire0001Ring Of Fire
51.0
 
1 51 51 35.0 0 0 1 0 0
846
River0001The River
65.0
 
1 65 65 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
847
River Deep Mountain High0001River Deep - Mountain High
67.0
 
3 86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
848
Roar0001Roar
7.0
 
1 7 7 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
849
Rock With You0001Rock With You
39.0
 
3 57 23 15.7 0 2 1 0 0
850
Rocket Man0001Rocket Man
30.0
 
3 39 24 23.0 0 3 0 0 0
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