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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
926
Lucky0001Lucky
9.0
 
1 9 9 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
927
Lucky Man0001Lucky Man
64.0
 
1 64 64 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
928
Mack The Knife0001Mack The Knife
65.0
 
2 72 58 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
929
Mad World0001Mad World
84.3
 
3 94 79 16.3 0 0 0 1 2
930
Maggie May0001Maggie May
64.5
 
2 70 59 21.5 0 0 1 1 0
931
Magic Man0001Magic Man
13.0
 
1 13 13 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
932
Making Love Out Of Nothing At All0001Making Love Out Of Nothing At All
54.0
 
1 54 54 17.0 0 0 1 0 0
933
Making Memories Of Us0001Making Memories Of Us
69.0
 
1 69 69 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
934
Mama0001Mama
8.0
 
1 8 8 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
935
Mamma Knows Best0001Mamma Knows Best
66.5
 
2 87 46 14.5 0 0 1 0 1
936
Man I Feel Like A Woman0001Man! I Feel Like A Woman
41.0
 
1 41 41 16.0 0 0 1 0 0
937
Man In The Mirror0001Man In The Mirror
55.3
 
3 64 41 18.7 0 0 1 2 0
938
Mandolin Rain0001Mandolin Rain
63.0
 
1 63 63 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
939
Manic Monday0001Manic Monday
7.0
 
1 7 7 14.0 1 0 0 0 0
940
Mary Jane0001Mary Jane
69.0
 
1 69 69 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
941
Maybe0001Maybe
42.0
 
1 42 42 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
942
Maybe Im Amazed0001Maybe I'm Amazed
71.8
 
4 82 50 19.3 0 0 1 2 1
943
Maybe It Was Memphis0001Maybe It Was Memphis
55.0
 
1 55 55 25.0 0 0 1 0 0
944
Mayberry0001Mayberry
18.0
 
1 18 18 16.0 1 0 0 0 0
945
Me And Bobby McGee0001Me And Bobby McGee
78.0
 
2 85 71 14.5 0 0 0 1 1
946
Me And Mrs Jones0001Me And Mrs. Jones
42.0
 
1 42 42 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
947
Memory0001Memory
From: Cats
14.0
 
1 14 14 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
948
Michelle0001Michelle
43.0
 
1 43 43 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
949
Midnight Train To Georgia0001Midnight Train To Georgia
76.7
 
3 83 72 15.3 0 0 0 2 1
950
Minnie The Moocher0001Minnie The Moocher
84.0
 
1 84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
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