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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
901
Simple Man0001Simple Man
54.0
 
2 71 37 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
902
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
903
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
904
Since U Been Gone0001Since U Been Gone
41.3
 
3 69 25 18.7 0 2 0 1 0
905
Sing0001Sing
27.0
 
1 27 27 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
906
Sir Duke0001Sir Duke
27.0
 
1 27 27 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
907
Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay0001(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
45.3
 
4 80 12 16.8 1 1 0 1 1
908
Sky Blue Diamond0001Sky Blue Diamond
47.0
 
1 47 47 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
909
Skyfall0001Skyfall
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
910
Skyscraper0001Skyscraper
62.0
 
1 62 62 28.0 0 0 0 1 0
911
Slow Ride0001Slow Ride
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
912
Smells Like Teen Spirit0001Smells Like Teen Spirit
39.0
 
1 39 39 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
913
Smile0001Smile
35.3
 
4 48 14 13.8 1 1 2 0 0
914
Smoky Mountain Memories0001Smoky Mountain Memories
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
915
Smooth0001Smooth
24.0
 
1 24 24 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
916
So Emotional0001So Emotional
24.0
 
1 24 24 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
917
So Small0001So Small
71.5
 
2 86 57 23.0 0 0 1 0 1
918
So What0001So What
32.0
 
1 32 32 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
919
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
920
Some Kind Of Wonderful0001Some Kind Of Wonderful
40.0
 
1 40 40 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
921
Somebody Like You0001Somebody Like You
53.0
 
1 53 53 27.0 0 0 1 0 0
922
Somebody That I Used To Know0001Somebody That I Used To Know
55.0
 
1 55 55 28.0 0 0 1 0 0
923
Somebody To Love0001Somebody To Love
55.5
 
2 68 43 26.0 0 0 1 1 0
924
Somebody to Love0001Somebody to Love
58.5
 
2 60 57 23.0 0 0 1 1 0
925
Someday Well All Be Free0001Someday We'll All Be Free
29.0
 
1 29 29 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
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