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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
101
Best Day Of My Life0001Best Day Of My Life
36.0
 
1 36 36 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
102
Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)0001Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)
40.0
 
1 40 40 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
103
Best Of My Love0001Best Of My Love
33.5
 
2 63 4 15.0 1 0 0 1 0
104
Bette Davis Eyes0001Bette Davis Eyes
48.0
 
1 48 48 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
105
Better Days0001Better Days
31.0
 
1 31 31 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
106
Better Dig Two0001Better Dig Two
42.0
 
1 42 42 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
107
Better With You0001Better With You
26.0
 
1 26 26 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
108
Bewitched Bothered And Bewildered0001Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered
From: Pal Joey
9.0
 
1 9 9 8.0 1 0 0 0 0
109
Big Girls Dont Cry0001Big Girls Don't Cry
44.5
 
2 53 36 17.0 0 1 1 0 0
110
Billie Jean0001Billie Jean
95.0
 
1 95 95 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
111
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree0001Black Horse And The Cherry Tree
55.7
 
3 81 34 18.3 0 1 1 0 1
112
Black Or White0001Black Or White
82.0
 
1 82 82 29.0 0 0 0 0 1
113
Black Velvet0001Black Velvet
56.5
 
2 57 56 25.5 0 0 2 0 0
114
Blackbird0001Blackbird
72.0
 
1 72 72 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
115
Blame It On The Sun0001Blame It On The Sun
18.0
 
1 18 18 17.0 1 0 0 0 0
116
Blame It On Your Heart0001Blame It On Your Heart
69.0
 
1 69 69 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
117
Blaze Of Glory0001Blaze Of Glory
77.0
 
1 77 77 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
118
Bleeding Love0001Bleeding Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
119
Bless The Broken Road0001Bless The Broken Road
67.0
 
1 67 67 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
120
Blue0001Blue
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
121
Blue Eyed Lie0001Blue Eyed Lie
89.0
 
1 89 89 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
122
Blue Skies0001Blue Skies
22.0
 
1 22 22 11.0 0 1 0 0 0
123
Blue Suede Shoes0001Blue Suede Shoes
41.0
 
1 41 41 19.0 0 0 1 0 0
124
Bohemian Rhapsody0001Bohemian Rhapsody
57.3
 
3 90 38 22.7 0 1 1 0 1
125
Bold As Love0001Bold As Love
43.0
 
1 43 43 27.0 0 0 1 0 0
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