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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
Renegade0001Renegade
55.5
 
2 79 32 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
827
Rescue Me0001Rescue Me
22.0
 
1 22 22 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
828
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
829
Rhiannon0001Rhiannon
69.3
 
3 72 66 17.3 0 0 0 3 0
830
Rhythm Is Gonna Get You0001Rhythm Is Gonna Get You
60.0
 
2 69 51 18.0 0 0 1 1 0
831
Ribbon In The Sky0001Ribbon In The Sky
44.0
 
3 61 29 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
832
Right Here Waiting0001Right Here Waiting
17.0
 
1 17 17 8.0 1 0 0 0 0
833
Ring Of Fire0001Ring Of Fire
51.0
 
1 51 51 35.0 0 0 1 0 0
834
River0001The River
65.0
 
1 65 65 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
835
River Deep Mountain High0001River Deep - Mountain High
67.0
 
3 86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
836
Roar0001Roar
7.0
 
1 7 7 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
837
Rock With You0001Rock With You
39.0
 
3 57 23 15.7 0 2 1 0 0
838
Rocket Man0001Rocket Man
30.0
 
3 39 24 23.0 0 3 0 0 0
839
Rockin Robin0001Rockin' Robin
44.0
 
2 61 27 23.5 0 1 0 1 0
840
Rolling In Deep0001Rolling In The Deep
69.0
 
4 82 48 23.3 0 0 1 2 1
841
Rose0001The Rose
15.0
 
1 15 15 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
842
Route 660001Route 66
70.0
 
1 70 70 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
843
Roxanne0001Roxanne
37.0
 
1 37 37 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
844
Royals0001Royals
70.0
 
1 70 70 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
845
Ruby Tuesday0001Ruby Tuesday
28.0
 
1 28 28 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
846
Rumor Has It0001Rumor Has It
36.5
 
2 46 27 21.0 0 1 1 0 0
847
Run To Me0001Run To Me
35.0
 
1 35 35 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
848
Run To You0001Run To You
68.0
 
2 76 60 18.0 0 0 0 2 0
849
Runaway Baby0001Runaway Baby
49.3
 
3 73 14 16.7 1 0 0 2 0
850
Safe And Sound0001Safe & Sound
45.0
 
1 45 45 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
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