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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
Last Dance0001Last Dance
34.0
 
3 58 7 16.0 1 1 1 0 0
952
Now And Forever0001Now And Forever
34.0
 
1 34 34 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
953
Stand Up For Love0001Stand Up For Love
34.0
 
1 34 34 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
954
Storm Warning0001Storm Warning
34.0
 
1 34 34 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
955
Why Do Fools Fall In Love?0001Why Do Fools Fall In Love?
34.0
 
2 35 33 17.0 0 2 0 0 0
956
Young Blood0001Young Blood
34.0
 
1 34 34 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
957
Best Of My Love0001Best Of My Love
33.5
 
2 63 4 15.0 1 0 0 1 0
958
I Say A Little Prayer0001I Say A Little Prayer
33.5
 
2 48 19 14.5 1 0 1 0 0
959
Music Of My Heart0001Music Of My Heart
33.5
 
2 59 8 14.5 1 0 1 0 0
960
Reasons0001Reasons
33.5
 
2 35 32 21.0 0 2 0 0 0
961
My Girl0001My Girl
33.4
 
5 62 6 16.8 1 2 1 1 0
962
Blank Space0001Blank Space
33.0
 
1 33 33 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
963
Boondocks0001Boondocks
33.0
 
1 33 33 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
964
Caught Up In The Rapture0001Caught Up In The Rapture
33.0
 
1 33 33 14.0 0 1 0 0 0
965
Comin' From Where I'm From0001Comin' From Where I'm From
33.0
 
1 33 33 24.0 0 1 0 0 0
966
Dare You To Move0001Dare You To Move
33.0
 
1 33 33 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
967
Hey Ya0001Hey Ya!
33.0
 
1 33 33 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
968
Homeboy0001Homeboy
33.0
 
1 33 33 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
969
I Wanna Rock0001I Wanna Rock
33.0
 
1 33 33 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
970
When I See You Smile0001When I See You Smile
33.0
 
2 42 24 17.0 0 1 1 0 0
971
With Arms Wide Open0001With Arms Wide Open
33.0
 
1 33 33 15.0 0 1 0 0 0
972
Closer0001Closer
32.0
 
1 32 32 21.0 0 1 0 0 0
973
Cowboy Casanova0001Cowboy Casanova
32.0
 
1 32 32 9.0 0 1 0 0 0
974
Everytime You Go Away0001Everytime You Go Away
32.0
 
1 32 32 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
975
Fighter0001Fighter
32.0
 
1 32 32 18.0 0 1 0 0 0
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