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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
Incomplete0001Incomplete
36.0
 
1 36 36 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
202
Independence Day0001Independence Day
55.0
 
3 75 36 16.7 0 1 1 1 0
203
Innocent0001Innocent
23.0
 
1 23 23 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
204
Inside Your Heaven0001Inside Your Heaven
American Idol original song
39.5
 
2 49 30 12.5 0 1 1 0 0
205
Invisible0001Invisible
20.0
 
1 20 20 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
206
Islands In The Stream0001Islands In The Stream
45.0
 
2 54 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
207
Its a Mans Mans Mans World0001It's A Man's Man's Man's World
59.7
 
3 85 24 18.3 0 1 0 1 1
208
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
209
Ive Done Enough Dyin Today0001I've Done Enough Dyin' Today
32.0
 
1 32 32 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
210
Jailhouse Rock0001Jailhouse Rock
46.7
 
3 60 38 23.3 0 1 1 1 0
211
Jeremy0001Jeremy
34.0
 
1 34 34 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
212
Jesus Take The Wheel0001Jesus, Take The Wheel
46.3
 
3 58 32 18.7 0 1 2 0 0
213
Jive Talkin'0001Jive Talkin'
20.0
 
1 20 20 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
214
Just A Kiss0001Just A Kiss
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
215
Just Give Me A Reason0001Just Give Me A Reason
37.5
 
2 46 29 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
216
Just Once0001Just Once
23.0
 
2 37 9 13.5 1 1 0 0 0
217
Keep The Faith0001Keep The Faith
38.0
 
1 38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
218
Keep Your Hands To Yourself0001Keep Your Hands To Yourself
35.0
 
1 35 35 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
219
Killer Queen0001Killer Queen
20.0
 
1 20 20 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
220
Kiss0001Kiss
39.0
 
1 39 39 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
221
Kiss From A Rose0001Kiss From A Rose
36.0
 
2 51 21 24.0 0 1 1 0 0
222
Kiss Me0001Kiss Me
30.0
 
1 30 30 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
223
Knock On Wood0001Knock On Wood
40.3
 
3 69 15 15.7 1 1 0 1 0
224
Knocks Me Off My Feet0001Knocks Me Off My Feet
35.7
 
3 53 17 17.3 1 1 1 0 0
225
Last Dance0001Last Dance
34.0
 
3 58 7 16.0 1 1 1 0 0
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