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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
Sugar Were Goin Down0001Sugar, We're Goin' Down
75.0
 
1 75 75 13.0 0 0 0 1 0
902
Summer Wind0001Summer Wind
58.0
 
1 58 58 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
903
Summertime0001Summertime
From: Porgy & Bess
75.3
 
3 94 62 16.7 0 0 0 2 1
904
Sunny0001Sunny
46.0
 
1 46 46 15.0 0 0 1 0 0
905
Superstar0001Superstar
From: Jesus Christ Superstar
71.0
 
1 71 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
906
Superstar0001Superstar
61.3
 
3 81 36 17.7 0 1 0 1 1
907
Superstition0001Superstition
49.5
 
6 65 35 20.8 0 3 0 3 0
908
Suspicious Minds0001Suspicious Minds
46.3
 
3 56 38 20.0 0 1 2 0 0
909
Sway0001Sway
57.0
 
1 57 57 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
910
Sweet Caroline0001Sweet Caroline
26.0
 
1 26 26 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
911
Sweet Dreams0001Sweet Dreams
76.5
 
2 87 66 16.0 0 0 0 1 1
912
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This0001Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
11.0
 
1 11 11 9.0 1 0 0 0 0
913
Sweet Home Alabama0001Sweet Home Alabama
58.5
 
2 72 45 17.5 0 0 1 1 0
914
Sweet Love0001Sweet Love
19.0
 
1 19 19 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
915
Sweet Sweet Baby Since Youve Been Gone0001(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone
87.0
 
1 87 87 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
916
Sweet Thing0001Sweet Thing
57.0
 
2 61 53 15.0 0 0 1 1 0
917
Swingin0001Swingin'
27.0
 
1 27 27 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
918
Tainted Love0001Tainted Love
29.0
 
1 29 29 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
919
Take Me Home Country Roads0001Take Me Home, Country Roads
17.0
 
1 17 17 18.0 1 0 0 0 0
920
Take Me To The King0001Take Me To The King
61.0
 
1 61 61 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
921
Take Me To The Pilot0001Take Me To The Pilot
86.0
 
1 86 86 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
922
Takin It To The Streets0001Takin' It To The Streets
80.0
 
1 80 80 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
923
Talking To The Moon0001Talking To The Moon
22.0
 
1 22 22 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
924
Tattoos On This Town0001Tattoos On This Town
38.0
 
1 38 38 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
925
Teach Me Tonight0001Teach Me Tonight
67.0
 
1 67 67 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
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