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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
226
Pressure And Time0001Pressure And Time
70.0
 
1 70 70 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
227
Route 660001Route 66
70.0
 
1 70 70 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
228
Royals0001Royals
70.0
 
1 70 70 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
229
Trouble 20001Trouble
70.0
 
3 75 63 18.0 0 0 0 3 0
230
What A Wonderful World0001What A Wonderful World
70.0
 
3 85 53 19.3 0 0 1 1 1
231
Think0001Think
69.8
 
4 84 36 17.8 0 1 0 1 2
232
Rhiannon0001Rhiannon
69.3
 
3 72 66 17.3 0 0 0 3 0
233
Try A Little Tenderness0001Try A Little Tenderness
69.3
 
3 80 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 1
234
Baba O'Riley0001Baba O'Riley
69.0
 
1 69 69 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
235
Blame It On Your Heart0001Blame It On Your Heart
69.0
 
1 69 69 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
236
Born To Be Wild0001Born To Be Wild
69.0
 
1 69 69 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
237
Cry Baby0001Cry Baby
69.0
 
1 69 69 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
238
Everybody Knows0001Everybody Knows
69.0
 
1 69 69 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
239
Here You Come Again0001Here You Come Again
69.0
 
1 69 69 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
240
I Am I Said0001I Am…I Said
69.0
 
1 69 69 19.0 0 0 0 1 0
241
Making Memories Of Us0001Making Memories Of Us
69.0
 
1 69 69 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
242
Mary Jane0001Mary Jane
69.0
 
1 69 69 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
243
People0001People
69.0
 
1 69 69 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
244
Play With Fire0001Play With Fire
69.0
 
1 69 69 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
245
Rolling In Deep0001Rolling In The Deep
69.0
 
4 82 48 23.3 0 0 1 2 1
246
Scientist0001The Scientist
69.0
 
2 78 60 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
247
Undo It0001Undo It
69.0
 
1 69 69 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
248
When I Was Your Man0001When I Was Your Man
69.0
 
2 80 58 19.5 0 0 1 0 1
249
Yellow0001Yellow
69.0
 
1 69 69 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
250
You And I0001You And I
69.0
 
4 86 46 18.5 0 0 1 2 1
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