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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
Ordinary People0001Ordinary People
86.0
 
1 86 86 9.0 0 0 0 0 1
127
Out Here On My Own0001Out Here On My Own
68.3
 
3 85 46 18.0 0 0 1 1 1
128
Paint It Black0001Paint It, Black
53.3
 
3 88 30 20.0 0 1 1 0 1
129
People Get Ready0001People Get Ready
88.0
 
1 88 88 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
130
Power Of Love 10001The Power Of Love
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
131
Power Of Love 20001The Power Of Love
59.2
 
5 83 30 17.8 0 1 1 2 1
132
Prayer0001The Prayer
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
133
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
134
River Deep Mountain High0001River Deep - Mountain High
67.0
 
3 86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
135
Rolling In Deep0001Rolling In The Deep
69.0
 
4 82 48 23.3 0 0 1 2 1
136
Saved0001Saved
81.0
 
1 81 81 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
137
Say Something0001Say Something
83.0
 
1 83 83 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
138
She Works Hard For The Money0001She Works Hard For The Money
59.5
 
2 86 33 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
139
Shes A Woman0001She's A Woman
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
140
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
141
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
142
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
143
Skyfall0001Skyfall
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
144
Slow Ride0001Slow Ride
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
145
So Small0001So Small
71.5
 
2 86 57 23.0 0 0 1 0 1
146
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
147
Someone Saved My Life Tonight0001Someone Saved My Life Tonight
80.0
 
1 80 80 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
148
Someone To Watch Over Me0001Someone To Watch Over Me
66.0
 
4 87 48 19.8 0 0 2 1 1
149
Somewhere Out There0001Somewhere Out There
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
150
Spinning Wheel0001Spinning Wheel
76.5
 
2 84 69 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
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