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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
No One Needs To Know0001No One Needs To Know
48.0
 
1 48 48 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
827
Nobody's Perfect0001Nobody's Perfect
48.0
 
2 70 26 20.0 0 1 0 1 0
828
Not Fade Away0001Not Fade Away
48.0
 
1 48 48 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
829
Not Ready To Make Nice0001Not Ready To Make Nice
18.0
 
1 18 18 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
830
Note To God0001Note To God
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
831
Nothin Like You0001Nothin' Like You
21.0
 
1 21 21 12.0 0 1 0 0 0
832
Nothing But The Water0001Nothing But The Water
40.0
 
1 40 40 26.0 0 0 1 0 0
833
Nothing Compares 2 U0001Nothing Compares 2 U
86.0
 
1 86 86 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
834
Nothing Ever Hurt Like You0001Nothing Ever Hurt Like You
16.0
 
1 16 16 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
835
Now And Forever0001Now And Forever
34.0
 
1 34 34 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
836
Nowhere To Run0001Nowhere To Run
61.0
 
1 61 61 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
837
Numb0001Numb
26.0
 
1 26 26 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
838
Nutbush City Limits0001Nutbush City Limits
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
839
Oh Boy0001Oh Boy
23.0
 
1 23 23 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
840
Oh Darling0001Oh! Darling
54.5
 
2 65 44 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
841
Oh No Not My Baby0001Oh No Not My Baby
23.0
 
1 23 23 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
842
OK Its Alright With Me0001OK, It's Alright With Me
19.0
 
1 19 19 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
843
Old Time Rock And Roll0001Old Time Rock And Roll
15.0
 
1 15 15 21.0 1 0 0 0 0
844
OMG0001OMG
5.0
 
1 5 5 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
845
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever0001On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
70.0
 
1 70 70 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
846
On Bended Knee0001On Bended Knee
31.0
 
1 31 31 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
847
On Broadway0001On Broadway
50.0
 
2 50 50 20.0 0 0 2 0 0
848
On The Radio0001On The Radio
46.0
 
1 46 46 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
849
On The Side Of Angels0001On The Side Of Angels
35.0
 
1 35 35 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
850
Once Upon A Dream0001Once Upon A Dream
77.0
 
1 77 77 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
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