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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
Are You Gonna Be My Girl0001Are You Gonna Be My Girl
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
927
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do0001Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
37.0
 
3 59 17 18.7 1 1 1 0 0
928
Check Yes Or No0001Check Yes Or No
37.0
 
1 37 37 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
929
Fragile0001Fragile
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
930
Happy (Pharrell)0001Happy
37.0
 
2 58 16 17.5 1 0 1 0 0
931
If It Hadn't Been For Love0001If It Hadn't Been For Love
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
932
Just A Kiss0001Just A Kiss
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
933
Lost0001Lost
37.0
 
1 37 37 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
934
Love Hurts0001Love Hurts
37.0
 
1 37 37 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
935
Moves Like Jagger0001Moves Like Jagger
37.0
 
1 37 37 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
936
Nature Boy0001Nature Boy
37.0
 
1 37 37 26.0 0 1 0 0 0
937
Never Tear Us Apart0001Never Tear Us Apart
37.0
 
1 37 37 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
938
One Hand One Heart0001One Hand, One Heart
From: West Side Story
37.0
 
1 37 37 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
939
Roxanne0001Roxanne
37.0
 
1 37 37 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
940
Save Me0001Save Me
37.0
 
1 37 37 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
941
This Is My Now0001This Is My Now
American Idol original song
37.0
 
2 54 20 15.5 0 1 1 0 0
942
One Last Cry0001One Last Cry
36.8
 
4 50 12 18.5 1 1 2 0 0
943
Clarity0001Clarity
36.5
 
2 42 31 23.0 0 1 1 0 0
944
Overjoyed0001Overjoyed
36.5
 
2 54 19 20.5 1 0 1 0 0
945
Rumor Has It0001Rumor Has It
36.5
 
2 46 27 21.0 0 1 1 0 0
946
Amazed0001Amazed
36.2
 
5 54 12 18.6 1 2 2 0 0
947
Aint Misbehavin0001Ain't Misbehavin'
36.0
 
1 36 36 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
948
Best Day Of My Life0001Best Day Of My Life
36.0
 
1 36 36 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
949
Cant Buy Me Love0001Can't Buy Me Love
36.0
 
1 36 36 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
950
Edge Of Seventeen0001Edge Of Seventeen
36.0
 
1 36 36 26.0 0 1 0 0 0
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