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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
Power Of Love 20001The Power Of Love
59.2
 
5 83 30 17.8 0 1 1 2 1
127
Prayer0001The Prayer
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
128
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
129
River Deep Mountain High0001River Deep - Mountain High
67.0
 
3 86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
130
Rolling In Deep0001Rolling In The Deep
75.7
 
3 82 68 24.3 0 0 0 2 1
131
Saved0001Saved
81.0
 
1 81 81 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
132
She Works Hard For The Money0001She Works Hard For The Money
59.5
 
2 86 33 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
133
Shes A Woman0001She's A Woman
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
134
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
135
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
136
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
137
Skyfall0001Skyfall
83.0
 
1 83 83 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
138
Slow Ride0001Slow Ride
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
139
So Small0001So Small
86.0
 
1 86 86 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
140
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
141
Someone Saved My Life Tonight0001Someone Saved My Life Tonight
80.0
 
1 80 80 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
142
Someone To Watch Over Me0001Someone To Watch Over Me
66.0
 
4 87 48 19.8 0 0 2 1 1
143
Somewhere Out There0001Somewhere Out There
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
144
Spinning Wheel0001Spinning Wheel
76.5
 
2 84 69 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
145
Stand By Me0001Stand By Me
58.5
 
4 89 30 16.8 0 1 1 1 1
146
Stronger0001Stronger
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
147
Stuff Like That There0001Stuff Like That There
95.0
 
1 95 95 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
148
Summertime0001Summertime
From: Porgy & Bess
75.3
 
3 94 62 16.7 0 0 0 2 1
149
Superstar0001Superstar
61.3
 
3 81 36 17.7 0 1 0 1 1
150
Sweet Dreams0001Sweet Dreams
76.5
 
2 87 66 16.0 0 0 0 1 1
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