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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
926
Im Your Baby Tonight0001I'm Your Baby Tonight
30.5
 
2 31 30 21.5 0 2 0 0 0
927
Kiss Me0001Kiss Me
30.0
 
1 30 30 13.0 0 1 0 0 0
928
Missing You 20001Missing You
30.0
 
1 30 30 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
929
Raining On Sunday0001Raining On Sunday
30.0
 
1 30 30 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
930
Rocket Man0001Rocket Man
30.0
 
3 39 24 23.0 0 3 0 0 0
931
Since U Been Gone0001Since U Been Gone
30.0
 
1 30 30 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
932
Wild One0001Wild One
30.0
 
1 30 30 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
933
Will You Be There0001Will You Be There
30.0
 
1 30 30 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
934
When You Tell Me That You Love Me0001When You Tell Me That You Love Me
29.3
 
3 50 14 17.3 1 1 1 0 0
935
Drops Of Jupiter0001Drops Of Jupiter
29.0
 
3 54 9 16.7 1 1 1 0 0
936
Fly Me To The Moon0001Fly Me To The Moon
29.0
 
1 29 29 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
937
If You Could Only See0001If You Could Only See
29.0
 
1 29 29 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
938
Maria Maria0001Maria Maria
29.0
 
1 29 29 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
939
My Cherie Amour0001My Cherie Amour
29.0
 
4 48 18 15.8 1 2 1 0 0
940
Someday Well All Be Free0001Someday We'll All Be Free
29.0
 
1 29 29 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
941
Tainted Love0001Tainted Love
29.0
 
1 29 29 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
942
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye0001Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye
29.0
 
1 29 29 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
943
Waiting On The World To Change0001Waiting On The World To Change
29.0
 
2 37 21 18.5 0 2 0 0 0
944
Young Hearts Run Free0001Young Hearts Run Free
29.0
 
1 29 29 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
945
Back In The USSR0001Back In The U.S.S.R.
28.0
 
1 28 28 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
946
Change The World0001Change The World
28.0
 
1 28 28 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
947
Dance Little Sister0001Dance Little Sister
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
948
Forever In Blue Jeans0001Forever In Blue Jeans
28.0
 
1 28 28 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
949
Grenade0001Grenade
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
950
Hot Blooded0001Hot Blooded
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
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