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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
If My Heart Had Wings0001If My Heart Had Wings
22.0
 
1 22 22 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
202
If Only For One Night0001If Only For One Night
38.0
 
1 38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
203
If You Could Only See0001If You Could Only See
29.0
 
1 29 29 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
204
If You Don't Know Me By Now0001If You Don't Know Me By Now
54.3
 
4 75 25 20.5 0 1 1 2 0
205
If You Leave Me Now0001If You Leave Me Now
27.0
 
1 27 27 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
206
If You Really Love Me0001If You Really Love Me
52.7
 
3 74 37 16.3 0 1 1 1 0
207
If Youre Not The One0001If You're Not The One
36.0
 
1 36 36 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
208
Ill Be0001I'll Be
55.3
 
6 81 22 18.7 0 1 3 1 1
209
Ill Never Love This Way Again0001I'll Never Love This Way Again
44.3
 
3 54 33 19.3 0 1 2 0 0
210
Im Already There0001I'm Already There
42.0
 
2 61 23 21.5 0 1 0 1 0
211
Im Every Woman0001I'm Every Woman
57.3
 
4 87 27 20.5 0 1 1 1 1
212
Im Into Something Good0001I'm Into Something Good
25.0
 
1 25 25 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
213
Im Still Standing0001I'm Still Standing
32.0
 
2 43 21 17.5 0 1 1 0 0
214
Imagine0001Imagine
60.7
 
6 93 39 19.7 0 1 3 1 1
215
In My Life0001In My Life
23.0
 
2 33 13 12.0 1 1 0 0 0
216
In The Still Of The Nite0001In The Still Of The Nite
41.0
 
2 46 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
217
In This Moment0001In This Moment
American Idol original song
34.0
 
1 34 34 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
218
Incomplete0001Incomplete
36.0
 
1 36 36 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
219
Independence Day0001Independence Day
55.0
 
3 75 36 16.7 0 1 1 1 0
220
Innocent0001Innocent
23.0
 
1 23 23 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
221
Inside Your Heaven0001Inside Your Heaven
American Idol original song
39.5
 
2 49 30 12.5 0 1 1 0 0
222
Invisible0001Invisible
20.0
 
1 20 20 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
223
Islands In The Stream0001Islands In The Stream
45.0
 
2 54 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
224
Its a Mans Mans Mans World0001It's A Man's Man's Man's World
64.8
 
4 85 24 17.3 0 1 0 1 2
225
Its All Coming Back To Me Now0001It's All Coming Back To Me Now
50.0
 
3 59 35 18.3 0 1 2 0 0
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