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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
Shes Not There0001She's Not There
54.0
 
1 54 54 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
827
46.0
 
1 46 46 14.0 0 0 1 0 0
828
Shop Around0001Shop Around
50.3
 
3 76 35 19.0 0 1 1 1 0
829
Shout0001Shout!
44.0
 
1 44 44 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
830
Show Must Go On0001The Show Must Go On
49.3
 
3 66 21 24.0 0 1 0 2 0
831
Signed Sealed Delivered Im Yours0001Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)
59.7
 
3 76 48 17.7 0 0 2 1 0
832
Simple Man0001Simple Man
54.0
 
2 71 37 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
833
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
834
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
835
Since U Been Gone0001Since U Been Gone
30.0
 
1 30 30 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
836
Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay0001(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
40.3
 
3 80 12 16.3 1 1 0 0 1
837
Sky Blue Diamond0001Sky Blue Diamond
47.0
 
1 47 47 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
838
Skyfall0001Skyfall
83.0
 
1 83 83 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
839
Skyscraper0001Skyscraper
62.0
 
1 62 62 28.0 0 0 0 1 0
840
Slow Ride0001Slow Ride
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
841
Smells Like Teen Spirit0001Smells Like Teen Spirit
39.0
 
1 39 39 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
842
Smile0001Smile
35.3
 
4 48 14 13.8 1 1 2 0 0
843
Smoky Mountain Memories0001Smoky Mountain Memories
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
844
Smooth0001Smooth
24.0
 
1 24 24 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
845
So Emotional0001So Emotional
24.0
 
1 24 24 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
846
So Small0001So Small
86.0
 
1 86 86 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
847
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
848
Some Kind Of Wonderful0001Some Kind Of Wonderful
40.0
 
1 40 40 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
849
Somebody That I Used To Know0001Somebody That I Used To Know
55.0
 
1 55 55 28.0 0 0 1 0 0
850
Somebody To Love0001Somebody To Love
55.5
 
2 68 43 26.0 0 0 1 1 0
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