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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
51
A Natural Woman0001A Natural Woman
63.4
 
5 89 38 16.8 0 1 1 1 2
52
Aint Goin Down Til The Sun Comes Up0001Ain't Goin' Down ('Til The Sun Comes Up)
49.3
 
3 80 25 19.7 0 1 1 0 1
53
Aint Misbehavin0001Ain't Misbehavin'
36.0
 
1 36 36 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
54
All My Life0001All My Life
20.0
 
1 20 20 8.0 0 1 0 0 0
55
All Right Now0001All Right Now
49.0
 
2 73 25 18.0 0 1 0 1 0
56
Almost Like Being In Love0001Almost Like Being In Love
24.0
 
1 24 24 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
57
Alone0001Alone
59.4
 
5 89 23 17.6 0 1 2 0 2
58
And I Am Telling You Im Not Going0001And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
65.5
 
6 88 38 18.8 0 1 2 0 3
59
Angel0001Angel
26.0
 
1 26 26 10.0 0 1 0 0 0
60
Angel0001Angel
47.7
 
3 61 38 17.0 0 1 1 1 0
61
Angels0001Angels
44.0
 
3 70 21 17.7 0 1 1 1 0
62
Animal0001Animal
23.0
 
1 23 23 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
63
Any Man Of Mine0001Any Man Of Mine
38.0
 
3 49 23 23.0 0 1 2 0 0
64
Anymore0001Anymore
44.0
 
2 53 35 16.5 0 1 1 0 0
65
Anyone Who Had A Heart0001Anyone Who Had A Heart
40.7
 
3 49 33 19.3 0 1 2 0 0
66
Aw Naw0001Aw Naw
30.0
 
1 30 30 11.0 0 1 0 0 0
67
Back At One0001Back At One
20.0
 
2 34 6 13.0 1 1 0 0 0
68
Back In The USSR0001Back In The U.S.S.R.
28.0
 
1 28 28 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
69
Bad Romance0001Bad Romance
41.0
 
2 46 36 23.5 0 1 1 0 0
70
Beat It0001Beat It
24.0
 
1 24 24 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
71
Beautiful Disaster0001Beautiful Disaster
24.0
 
1 24 24 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
72
Because The Night0001Because The Night
21.0
 
1 21 21 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
73
Ben0001Ben
26.0
 
1 26 26 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
74
Best Day Of My Life0001Best Day Of My Life
36.0
 
1 36 36 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
75
Better Days0001Better Days
31.0
 
1 31 31 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
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