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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
951
Waiting On The World To Change0001Waiting On The World To Change
29.0
 
2 37 21 18.5 0 2 0 0 0
952
Young Hearts Run Free0001Young Hearts Run Free
29.0
 
1 29 29 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
953
Back In The USSR0001Back In The U.S.S.R.
28.0
 
1 28 28 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
954
Change The World0001Change The World
28.0
 
1 28 28 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
955
Dance Little Sister0001Dance Little Sister
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
956
Forever In Blue Jeans0001Forever In Blue Jeans
28.0
 
1 28 28 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
957
Grenade0001Grenade
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
958
Hot Blooded0001Hot Blooded
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
959
I Could Fall In Love0001I Could Fall In Love
28.0
 
1 28 28 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
960
Only Girl In The World0001Only Girl (In The World)
28.0
 
2 47 9 15.0 1 0 1 0 0
961
Ruby Tuesday0001Ruby Tuesday
28.0
 
1 28 28 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
962
Stay0001Stay
28.0
 
1 28 28 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
963
Stronger What Doesnt Kill You0001Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)
28.0
 
1 28 28 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
964
Dream On0001Dream On
27.5
 
2 48 7 17.5 1 0 1 0 0
965
No Boundaries0001No Boundaries
American Idol original song
27.5
 
2 31 24 15.0 0 2 0 0 0
966
Because You Loved Me0001Because You Loved Me
27.0
 
3 51 13 13.0 2 0 1 0 0
967
Caught Up0001Caught Up
27.0
 
1 27 27 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
968
Dont Know Why0001Don't Know Why
27.0
 
1 27 27 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
969
Free Fallin0001Free Fallin'
27.0
 
1 27 27 23.0 0 1 0 0 0
970
Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love0001Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love
27.0
 
1 27 27 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
971
Here For The Party0001Here For The Party
27.0
 
1 27 27 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
972
If You Leave Me Now0001If You Leave Me Now
27.0
 
1 27 27 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
973
Lets Get Loud0001Let's Get Loud
27.0
 
1 27 27 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
974
Locked Out Of Heaven0001Locked Out Of Heaven
27.0
 
1 27 27 16.0 0 1 0 0 0
975
Rockin Robin0001Rockin' Robin
27.0
 
1 27 27 27.0 0 1 0 0 0
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