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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
126
People Get Ready0001People Get Ready
88.0
 
1 88 88 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
127
Power Of Love 10001The Power Of Love
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
128
Power Of Love 20001The Power Of Love
59.2
 
5 83 30 17.8 0 1 1 2 1
129
Prayer0001The Prayer
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
130
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
131
River Deep Mountain High0001River Deep - Mountain High
67.0
 
3 86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
132
Rolling In Deep0001Rolling In The Deep
76.0
 
3 82 69 24.3 0 0 0 2 1
133
Saved0001Saved
81.0
 
1 81 81 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
134
Say Something0001Say Something
83.0
 
1 83 83 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
135
She Works Hard For The Money0001She Works Hard For The Money
59.5
 
2 86 33 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
136
Shes A Woman0001She's A Woman
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
137
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
138
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
139
Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay0001(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
40.3
 
3 80 12 16.3 1 1 0 0 1
140
Skyfall0001Skyfall
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
141
Slow Ride0001Slow Ride
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
142
So Small0001So Small
71.5
 
2 86 57 23.0 0 0 1 0 1
143
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
144
Someone Saved My Life Tonight0001Someone Saved My Life Tonight
80.0
 
1 80 80 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
145
Someone To Watch Over Me0001Someone To Watch Over Me
66.0
 
4 87 48 19.8 0 0 2 1 1
146
Somewhere Out There0001Somewhere Out There
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
147
Spinning Wheel0001Spinning Wheel
76.5
 
2 84 69 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
148
Stand By Me0001Stand By Me
58.5
 
4 89 30 16.8 0 1 1 1 1
149
Stay0001Stay
60.0
 
3 80 37 22.0 0 1 0 1 1
150
Still Of The Night0001Still Of The Night
84.0
 
1 84 84 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
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