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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
How To Save A Life0001How To Save A Life
39.0
 
1 39 39 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
927
If I Die Young0001If I Die Young
39.0
 
1 39 39 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
928
Never Too Much0001Never Too Much
39.0
 
2 39 39 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
929
Rock With You0001Rock With You
39.0
 
3 57 23 15.7 0 2 1 0 0
930
She's Country0001She's Country
39.0
 
1 39 39 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
931
Smells Like Teen Spirit0001Smells Like Teen Spirit
39.0
 
1 39 39 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
932
Something He Can Feel0001Something He Can Feel
39.0
 
1 39 39 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
933
Sorry0001Sorry
39.0
 
1 39 39 32.0 0 1 0 0 0
934
I Want You Back0001I Want You Back
38.7
 
3 44 31 19.0 0 1 2 0 0
935
Call Me0001Call Me
38.5
 
4 60 11 23.8 1 1 1 1 0
936
Ring Of Fire0001Ring Of Fire
38.5
 
2 51 26 28.0 0 1 1 0 0
937
I Dont Want To Miss A Thing0001I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
38.3
 
9 68 13 17.3 2 2 3 2 0
938
Any Man Of Mine0001Any Man Of Mine
38.0
 
3 49 23 23.0 0 1 2 0 0
939
Calling You0001Calling You
38.0
 
1 38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
940
Earth Song0001Earth Song
38.0
 
1 38 38 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
941
Got To Get You Into My Life0001Got To Get You Into My Life
38.0
 
1 38 38 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
942
Hi De Ho0001Hi-De-Ho
38.0
 
1 38 38 25.0 0 1 0 0 0
943
Hold On To The Nights0001Hold On To The Nights
38.0
 
1 38 38 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
944
I Believe I Can Fly0001I Believe I Can Fly
38.0
 
5 59 21 21.0 0 3 2 0 0
945
If Only For One Night0001If Only For One Night
38.0
 
1 38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
946
Keep The Faith0001Keep The Faith
38.0
 
1 38 38 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
947
Love Gets Me Every Time0001Love Gets Me Every Time
38.0
 
1 38 38 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
948
My Church0001My Church
38.0
 
2 54 22 21.5 0 1 1 0 0
949
Neon Lights0001Neon Lights
38.0
 
1 38 38 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
950
Oops I Did It Again0001Oops!... I Did It Again
38.0
 
1 38 38 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
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