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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
101
I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)0001I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)
78.5
 
2 80 77 14.0 0 0 0 1 1
102
I Will Always Love You0001I Will Always Love You
66.0
 
3 92 53 16.0 0 0 2 0 1
103
Ill Be0001I'll Be
52.4
 
7 81 22 18.7 0 2 3 1 1
104
Im A Woman0001I'm A Woman
78.5
 
2 88 69 13.5 0 0 0 1 1
105
Im Every Woman0001I'm Every Woman
57.3
 
4 87 27 20.5 0 1 1 1 1
106
Imagine0001Imagine
60.7
 
6 93 39 19.7 0 1 3 1 1
107
In A Dream0001In A Dream
94.0
 
1 94 94 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
108
In The Ghetto0001In The Ghetto
67.0
 
2 80 54 21.5 0 0 1 0 1
109
Inseparable0001Inseparable
70.3
 
3 87 60 18.7 0 0 0 2 1
110
Its All Wrong But Its Alright0001It's All Wrong But It's Alright
83.0
 
1 83 83 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
111
Ive Got The Music In Me0001I've Got The Music In Me
84.0
 
1 84 84 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
112
Jealous Guy0001Jealous Guy
89.0
 
1 89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
113
Kiss And Say Goodbye0001Kiss And Say Goodbye
87.0
 
1 87 87 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
114
Landslide0001Landslide
45.5
 
2 84 7 17.5 1 0 0 0 1
115
Let It Be0001Let It Be
55.0
 
4 85 19 17.8 1 0 1 1 1
116
Lets Stay Together0001Let's Stay Together
56.2
 
5 80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
117
Levon0001Levon
59.5
 
2 80 39 16.0 0 1 0 0 1
118
Light My Fire0001Light My Fire
59.0
 
3 82 47 18.0 0 0 2 0 1
119
Living For The City0001Living For The City
67.3
 
4 84 37 16.8 0 1 0 2 1
120
Long As I Can See The Light0001Long As I Can See The Light
90.0
 
1 90 90 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
121
Love Is A Battlefield0001Love Is A Battlefield
66.5
 
2 80 53 22.5 0 0 1 0 1
122
Love Song Cure0001Lovesong
76.0
 
2 96 56 14.0 0 0 1 0 1
123
Love You I Do0001Love You I Do
65.0
 
2 85 45 16.5 0 0 1 0 1
124
Make It Rain0001Make It Rain
51.5
 
2 81 22 16.5 0 1 0 0 1
125
Mamma Knows Best0001Mamma Knows Best
66.5
 
2 87 46 14.5 0 0 1 0 1
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