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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
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting0001Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
71.0
 
1 71 71 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
827
Save Me0001Save Me
37.0
 
1 37 37 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
828
Save The Best For Last0001Save The Best For Last
16.0
 
1 16 16 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
829
Saved0001Saved
81.0
 
1 81 81 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
830
Saving All My Love For You0001Saving All My Love For You
42.8
 
5 62 25 19.4 0 2 2 1 0
831
Say Something0001Say Something
83.0
 
1 83 83 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
832
Say Something Now0001Say Something Now
45.0
 
1 45 45 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
833
Scientist0001The Scientist
69.0
 
2 78 60 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
834
Search Is Over0001The Search Is Over
15.0
 
1 15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
835
See You Again0001See You Again
62.0
 
1 62 62 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
836
September0001September
37.7
 
3 52 27 21.0 0 2 1 0 0
837
September Morn0001September Morn
14.0
 
1 14 14 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
838
Set Fire To The Rain0001Set Fire To The Rain
7.0
 
1 7 7 6.0 1 0 0 0 0
839
Seven Day Fool0001Seven Day Fool
79.0
 
1 79 79 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
840
Shackles Praise You0001Shackles (Praise You)
46.0
 
1 46 46 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
841
Shadow Of Your Smile0001The Shadow Of Your Smile
57.0
 
1 57 57 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
842
Shake It Out0001Shake It Out
47.0
 
1 47 47 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
843
Shameless0001Shameless
51.0
 
1 51 51 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
844
She Believes In Me0001She Believes In Me
38.0
 
2 47 29 24.0 0 1 1 0 0
845
She Talks To Angels0001She Talks To Angels
65.0
 
1 65 65 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
846
She Will Be Loved0001She Will Be Loved
60.0
 
1 60 60 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
847
She Works Hard For The Money0001She Works Hard For The Money
59.5
 
2 86 33 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
848
Shelter0001Shelter
71.0
 
1 71 71 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
849
Shes A Woman0001She's A Woman
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
850
Shes Always A Woman0001She's Always A Woman
52.0
 
1 52 52 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
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