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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
201
I Could Fall In Love0001I Could Fall In Love
28.0
 
1 28 28 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
202
I Dare You0001I Dare You
32.0
 
1 32 32 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
203
I Feel The Earth Move0001I Feel The Earth Move
49.3
 
3 64 39 20.0 0 1 1 1 0
204
I Guess Thats Why They Call It The Blues0001I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
22.0
 
2 26 18 23.0 1 1 0 0 0
205
I Have Nothing0001I Have Nothing
61.7
 
10 87 20 17.8 0 1 4 3 2
206
I Heard It Through The Grapevine0001I Heard It Through The Grapevine
47.1
 
7 78 11 17.6 1 1 3 2 0
207
I Love You This Big0001I Love You This Big
American Idol original song
25.0
 
1 25 25 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
208
I Saw Her Standing There0001I Saw Her Standing There
25.0
 
1 25 25 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
209
I Should Have Known Better0001I Should Have Known Better
35.0
 
1 35 35 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
210
I Surrender0001I Surrender
63.0
 
5 79 35 17.4 0 1 0 4 0
211
I Swear0001I Swear
25.0
 
1 25 25 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
212
I Wanna Be Where You Are0001I Wanna Be Where You Are
31.0
 
1 31 31 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
213
I Wanna Rock0001I Wanna Rock
32.0
 
1 32 32 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
214
I Want You Back0001I Want You Back
38.7
 
3 44 31 19.0 0 1 2 0 0
215
I Want You To Want Me0001I Want You To Want Me
28.0
 
1 28 28 9.0 0 1 0 0 0
216
I Will Love Again0001I Will Love Again
31.0
 
1 31 31 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
217
I Wont Dance0001I Won't Dance
36.0
 
1 36 36 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
218
I Would Die 4 U0001I Would Die 4 U
33.0
 
1 33 33 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
219
I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)0001I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
35.0
 
1 35 35 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
220
If I Die Young0001If I Die Young
39.0
 
1 39 39 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
221
If I Were A Boy0001If I Were A Boy
23.0
 
1 23 23 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
222
If It Hadn't Been For Love0001If It Hadn't Been For Love
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
223
If My Heart Had Wings0001If My Heart Had Wings
22.0
 
1 22 22 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
224
If Only For One Night0001If Only For One Night
38.0
 
1 38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
225
If You Could Only See0001If You Could Only See
29.0
 
1 29 29 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
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