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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
Prayer0001The Prayer
84.0
 
1 84 84 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
127
Respect0001Respect
71.3
 
3 84 62 14.7 0 0 0 2 1
128
River Deep Mountain High0001River Deep - Mountain High
67.0
 
3 86 36 15.7 0 1 0 1 1
129
Rolling In Deep0001Rolling In The Deep
75.7
 
3 82 68 24.3 0 0 0 2 1
130
Saved0001Saved
81.0
 
1 81 81 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
131
She Works Hard For The Money0001She Works Hard For The Money
59.5
 
2 86 33 17.0 0 1 0 0 1
132
Shes A Woman0001She's A Woman
82.0
 
1 82 82 19.0 0 0 0 0 1
133
Sin Wagon0001Sin Wagon
80.0
 
2 89 71 19.0 0 0 0 1 1
134
Since I Fell For You0001Since I Fell For You
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
135
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
136
Skyfall0001Skyfall
83.0
 
1 83 83 16.0 0 0 0 0 1
137
Slow Ride0001Slow Ride
88.0
 
1 88 88 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
138
So Small0001So Small
72.5
 
2 86 59 23.5 0 0 1 0 1
139
Solitaire0001Solitaire
92.0
 
1 92 92 14.0 0 0 0 0 1
140
Someone Saved My Life Tonight0001Someone Saved My Life Tonight
80.0
 
1 80 80 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
141
Someone To Watch Over Me0001Someone To Watch Over Me
66.0
 
4 87 48 19.8 0 0 2 1 1
142
Somewhere Out There0001Somewhere Out There
82.0
 
1 82 82 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
143
Spinning Wheel0001Spinning Wheel
76.5
 
2 84 69 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
144
Stand By Me0001Stand By Me
58.5
 
4 89 30 16.8 0 1 1 1 1
145
Stronger0001Stronger
80.0
 
1 80 80 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
146
Stuff Like That There0001Stuff Like That There
95.0
 
1 95 95 11.0 0 0 0 0 1
147
Summertime0001Summertime
From: Porgy & Bess
75.3
 
3 94 62 16.7 0 0 0 2 1
148
Superstar0001Superstar
61.3
 
3 81 36 17.7 0 1 0 1 1
149
Sweet Dreams0001Sweet Dreams
76.5
 
2 87 66 16.0 0 0 0 1 1
150
Sweet Sweet Baby Since Youve Been Gone0001(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone
87.0
 
1 87 87 12.0 0 0 0 0 1
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