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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
201
You've Changed0001You've Changed
85.0
 
1 85 85 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
202
Youve Got A Friend0001You've Got A Friend
60.5
 
2 81 40 21.5 0 0 1 0 1
203
Youve Got Another Thing Comin'0001You've Got Another Thing Comin'
83.0
 
1 83 83 15.0 0 0 0 0 1
204
Youve Really Got A Hold On Me0001You've Really Got A Hold On Me
64.5
 
2 82 47 21.5 0 0 1 0 1
205
A Change Is Gonna Come0001A Change Is Gonna Come
63.8
 
5 75 57 23.0 0 0 2 3 0
206
A Day In The Life0001A Day In The Life
37.0
 
1 37 37 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
207
A Little Less Conversation0001A Little Less Conversation
41.0
 
5 72 28 21.8 0 4 0 1 0
208
A Moment Like This0001A Moment Like This
American Idol original song
59.7
 
3 70 41 18.3 0 0 1 2 0
209
A Team0001The A Team
73.0
 
1 73 73 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
210
A Whiter Shade Of Pale0001A Whiter Shade Of Pale
56.0
 
1 56 56 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
211
Across The Universe0001Across The Universe
62.5
 
2 66 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 0
212
Addicted To Love0001Addicted To Love
25.0
 
1 25 25 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
213
Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)0001Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)
31.6
 
7 59 2 15.1 2 2 3 0 0
214
Aint Misbehavin0001Ain't Misbehavin'
36.0
 
1 36 36 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
215
Aint No Mountain High Enough0001Ain't No Mountain High Enough
39.3
 
4 51 8 15.0 1 0 3 0 0
216
Aint No Way0001Ain't No Way
59.0
 
2 64 54 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
217
All Cried Out0001All Cried Out
American Idol original song
52.0
 
1 52 52 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
218
All I Do0001All I Do
67.0
 
1 67 67 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
219
All I Really Need Is You0001All I Really Need Is You
77.0
 
1 77 77 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
220
All In Love Is Fair0001All In Love Is Fair
41.6
 
5 75 16 19.2 1 2 1 1 0
221
All Mixed Up0001All Mixed Up
63.0
 
1 63 63 14.0 0 0 0 1 0
222
All My Life0001All My Life
20.0
 
1 20 20 8.0 0 1 0 0 0
223
All My Loving0001All My Loving
58.0
 
1 58 58 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
224
All Night Long All Night0001All Night Long (All Night)
45.0
 
1 45 45 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
225
All Of Me0001All Of Me
74.0
 
1 74 74 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
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