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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
Smile0001Smile
35.3
 
4 48 14 13.8 1 1 2 0 0
902
Smoky Mountain Memories0001Smoky Mountain Memories
74.0
 
1 74 74 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
903
Smooth0001Smooth
24.0
 
1 24 24 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
904
So Emotional0001So Emotional
24.0
 
1 24 24 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
905
So Small0001So Small
71.5
 
2 86 57 23.0 0 0 1 0 1
906
So What0001So What
32.0
 
1 32 32 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
907
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
908
Some Kind Of Wonderful0001Some Kind Of Wonderful
40.0
 
1 40 40 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
909
Somebody Like You0001Somebody Like You
53.0
 
1 53 53 27.0 0 0 1 0 0
910
Somebody That I Used To Know0001Somebody That I Used To Know
55.0
 
1 55 55 28.0 0 0 1 0 0
911
Somebody To Love0001Somebody To Love
55.5
 
2 68 43 26.0 0 0 1 1 0
912
Somebody to Love0001Somebody to Love
58.0
 
2 59 57 23.0 0 0 2 0 0
913
Someday Well All Be Free0001Someday We'll All Be Free
29.0
 
1 29 29 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
914
Someone Elses Star0001Someone Else's Star
56.0
 
1 56 56 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
915
Someone Like You0001Someone Like You
19.0
 
1 19 19 12.0 1 0 0 0 0
916
Someone Saved My Life Tonight0001Someone Saved My Life Tonight
80.0
 
1 80 80 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
917
Someone To Watch Over Me0001Someone To Watch Over Me
66.0
 
4 87 48 19.8 0 0 2 1 1
918
Something0001Something
63.0
 
1 63 63 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
919
Something About The Way You Look Tonight0001Something About The Way You Look Tonight
44.5
 
2 63 26 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
920
Something He Can Feel0001Something He Can Feel
39.0
 
1 39 39 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
921
Something To Talk About0001Something To Talk About
42.3
 
3 75 9 19.0 1 0 1 1 0
922
Sometimes I Cry0001Sometimes I Cry
45.0
 
1 45 45 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
923
Somewhere0001Somewhere
From: West Side Story
66.0
 
3 88 23 14.3 0 1 0 0 2
924
Somewhere Only We Know0001Somewhere Only We Know
79.0
 
1 79 79 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
925
Somewhere Out There0001Somewhere Out There
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
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