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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
26
A Song For You0001A Song For You
66.5
 
4 88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
27
A Whole New World0001A Whole New World
90.0
 
1 90 90 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
28
Aint Goin Down Til The Sun Comes Up0001Ain't Goin' Down ('Til The Sun Comes Up)
49.3
 
3 80 25 19.7 0 1 1 0 1
29
Ain't Nobody0001Ain't Nobody
64.0
 
2 85 43 17.5 0 0 1 0 1
30
Aint Too Proud To Beg0001Ain't Too Proud To Beg
52.8
 
5 84 19 17.4 1 0 2 1 1
31
All The Man That I Need0001All The Man That I Need
65.7
 
3 86 46 13.7 0 0 1 1 1
32
Always On My Mind0001Always On My Mind
72.3
 
4 86 60 20.3 0 0 0 3 1
33
As Long As He Needs Me0001As Long As He Needs Me
From: Oliver!
75.5
 
2 80 71 17.5 0 0 0 1 1
34
Band Of Gold0001Band Of Gold
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
35
Be Without You0001Be Without You
65.0
 
2 84 46 20.0 0 0 1 0 1
36
Beautiful0001Beautiful
80.0
 
1 80 80 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
37
Billie Jean0001Billie Jean
95.0
 
1 95 95 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
38
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree0001Black Horse And The Cherry Tree
55.7
 
3 81 34 18.3 0 1 1 0 1
39
Black Or White0001Black Or White
82.0
 
1 82 82 29.0 0 0 0 0 1
40
Bleeding Love0001Bleeding Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
41
Blue Eyed Lie0001Blue Eyed Lie
89.0
 
1 89 89 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
42
Bohemian Rhapsody0001Bohemian Rhapsody
57.3
 
3 90 38 22.7 0 1 1 0 1
43
Bridge Over Troubled Water0001Bridge Over Troubled Water
65.5
 
2 86 45 24.0 0 0 1 0 1
44
Build Me Up Buttercup0001Build Me Up Buttercup
93.0
 
1 93 93 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
45
Candle In The Wind0001Candle In The Wind
81.0
 
1 81 81 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
46
Chain Of Fools0001Chain Of Fools
57.4
 
5 84 40 17.0 0 0 3 1 1
47
Circle Of Life0001Circle Of Life
70.5
 
2 89 52 25.0 0 0 1 0 1
48
Climb0001The Climb
49.7
 
3 80 6 15.0 1 0 0 1 1
49
Come See About Me0001Come See About Me
80.0
 
1 80 80 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
50
Could've Been0001Could've Been
87.0
 
1 87 87 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
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