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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
151
Girls Just Want To Have Fun0001Girls Just Want To Have Fun
21.0
 
1 21 21 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
152
God Bless The Child0001God Bless The Child
54.3
 
4 82 21 19.8 0 1 1 1 1
153
Got To Get You Into My Life0001Got To Get You Into My Life
38.0
 
1 38 38 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
154
Gravity0001Gravity
42.0
 
2 60 24 19.5 0 1 0 1 0
155
Greatest Love Of All0001Greatest Love Of All
48.5
 
2 73 24 16.5 0 1 0 1 0
156
Grenade0001Grenade
25.0
 
1 25 25 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
157
Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?0001Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?
56.0
 
3 74 24 18.7 0 1 0 2 0
158
Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love0001Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love
27.0
 
1 27 27 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
159
Hello0001Hello
57.3
 
3 90 29 18.0 0 1 1 0 1
160
Here For The Party0001Here For The Party
27.0
 
1 27 27 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
161
Here There And Everywhere0001Here, There & Everywhere
39.0
 
1 39 39 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
162
Here We Are0001Here We Are
36.0
 
1 36 36 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
163
Hero - Carey Mariah0001Hero
44.0
 
4 80 14 15.0 1 1 1 0 1
164
Hi De Ho0001Hi-De-Ho
38.0
 
1 38 38 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
165
Hicktown0001Hicktown
34.0
 
1 34 34 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
166
Hit Me Up0001Hit Me Up
34.0
 
1 34 34 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
167
Hold On To The Nights0001Hold On To The Nights
38.0
 
1 38 38 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
168
Homeboy0001Homeboy
33.0
 
1 33 33 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
169
Hot Blooded0001Hot Blooded
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
170
Hound Dog / All Shook Up (Medley)0001Hound Dog / All Shook Up (Medley)
23.0
 
1 23 23 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
171
How Far0001How Far
39.0
 
1 39 39 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
172
How To Save A Life0001How To Save A Life
39.0
 
1 39 39 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
173
How You Remind Me0001How You Remind Me
31.0
 
1 31 31 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
174
I Can't Help Myself Sugar Pie Honey Bunch0001I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
34.8
 
5 82 6 13.8 2 1 1 0 1
175
I Cant Make You Love Me0001I Can't Make You Love Me
60.0
 
5 85 31 19.0 0 1 1 1 2
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