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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
Jealous Guy0001Jealous Guy
89.0
 
1 89 89 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
102
Kiss And Say Goodbye0001Kiss And Say Goodbye
87.0
 
1 87 87 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
103
Let It Be0001Let It Be
67.0
 
3 85 48 18.3 0 0 1 1 1
104
Lets Stay Together0001Let's Stay Together
56.2
 
5 80 27 19.2 0 1 2 1 1
105
Levon0001Levon
59.5
 
2 80 39 16.0 0 1 0 0 1
106
Light My Fire0001Light My Fire
64.5
 
2 82 47 16.0 0 0 1 0 1
107
Living For The City0001Living For The City
77.3
 
3 84 73 15.3 0 0 0 2 1
108
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
109
Love Is A Battlefield0001Love Is A Battlefield
66.5
 
2 80 53 22.5 0 0 1 0 1
110
Love Song Cure0001Lovesong
76.0
 
2 96 56 14.0 0 0 1 0 1
111
Love You I Do0001Love You I Do
85.0
 
1 85 85 17.0 0 0 0 0 1
112
Maybe Im Amazed0001Maybe I'm Amazed
71.8
 
4 82 50 19.3 0 0 1 2 1
113
Me And Bobby McGee0001Me And Bobby McGee
78.0
 
2 85 71 14.5 0 0 0 1 1
114
Midnight Train To Georgia0001Midnight Train To Georgia
76.7
 
3 83 72 15.3 0 0 0 2 1
115
Minnie The Moocher0001Minnie The Moocher
84.0
 
1 84 84 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
116
Moodys Mood For Love0001Moody's Mood For Love
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
117
Music Of The Night0001The Music Of The Night
From: The Phantom Of The Opera
87.0
 
1 87 87 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
118
My Funny Valentine0001My Funny Valentine
66.2
 
5 92 43 18.8 0 0 2 2 1
119
New York State Of Mind0001New York State Of Mind
68.7
 
3 91 47 15.3 0 0 1 1 1
120
No More Tears Enough Is Enough0001No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
72.0
 
2 81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
121
Nutbush City Limits0001Nutbush City Limits
80.0
 
1 80 80 22.0 0 0 0 0 1
122
One And Only0001One And Only
67.5
 
2 84 51 15.5 0 0 1 0 1
123
Ordinary People0001Ordinary People
86.0
 
1 86 86 9.0 0 0 0 0 1
124
Out Here On My Own0001Out Here On My Own
68.3
 
3 85 46 18.0 0 0 1 1 1
125
Paint It Black0001Paint It, Black
53.3
 
3 88 30 20.0 0 1 1 0 1
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