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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
Why Do Fools Fall In Love?0001Why Do Fools Fall In Love?
33.0
 
1 33 33 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
927
With Arms Wide Open0001With Arms Wide Open
33.0
 
1 33 33 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
928
Closer0001Closer
32.0
 
1 32 32 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
929
Cowboy Casanova0001Cowboy Casanova
32.0
 
1 32 32 9.0 0 1 0 0 0
930
Everytime You Go Away0001Everytime You Go Away
32.0
 
1 32 32 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
931
Fighter0001Fighter
32.0
 
1 32 32 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
932
I Dare You0001I Dare You
32.0
 
1 32 32 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
933
Im Still Standing0001I'm Still Standing
32.0
 
2 43 21 17.5 0 1 1 0 0
934
Ive Done Enough Dyin Today0001I've Done Enough Dyin' Today
32.0
 
1 32 32 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
935
Night And Day0001Night And Day
32.0
 
1 32 32 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
936
One Sweet Day0001One Sweet Day
32.0
 
1 32 32 12.0 0 1 0 0 0
937
So What0001So What
32.0
 
1 32 32 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
938
Unconditionally0001Unconditionally
32.0
 
1 32 32 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
939
When I Dream0001When I Dream
32.0
 
1 32 32 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
940
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
941
MacArthur Park0001MacArthur Park
31.5
 
2 36 27 22.5 0 2 0 0 0
942
When The Lights Go Down0001When The Lights Go Down
31.5
 
2 43 20 18.0 0 1 1 0 0
943
Crazy Little Thing Called Love0001Crazy Little Thing Called Love
31.2
 
6 62 13 19.2 2 3 0 1 0
944
Better Days0001Better Days
31.0
 
1 31 31 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
945
Easy0001Easy
31.0
 
2 55 7 13.0 1 0 1 0 0
946
How You Remind Me0001How You Remind Me
31.0
 
1 31 31 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
947
I Need You0001I Need You
31.0
 
2 37 25 20.5 0 2 0 0 0
948
I Will Love Again0001I Will Love Again
31.0
 
1 31 31 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
949
Mandy0001Mandy
31.0
 
1 31 31 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
950
On Bended Knee0001On Bended Knee
31.0
 
1 31 31 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
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