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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
1
A Beautiful Mess0001A Beautiful Mess
83.0
 
1 83 83 13.0 0 0 0 0 1
2
A Broken Wing0001A Broken Wing
72.3
 
4 82 68 19.5 0 0 0 3 1
3
A Change Is Gonna Come0001A Change Is Gonna Come
63.8
 
5 75 57 23.0 0 0 2 3 0
4
A Day In The Life0001A Day In The Life
37.0
 
1 37 37 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
5
A House Is Not A Home0001A House Is Not A Home
68.5
 
4 92 39 17.0 0 1 1 0 2
6
A Little Less Conversation0001A Little Less Conversation
41.0
 
5 72 28 21.8 0 4 0 1 0
7
A Moment Like This0001A Moment Like This
American Idol original song
59.7
 
3 70 41 18.3 0 0 1 2 0
8
A Natural Woman0001A Natural Woman
63.4
 
5 89 38 16.8 0 1 1 1 2
9
A Song For You0001A Song For You
66.5
 
4 88 51 15.0 0 0 2 1 1
10
A Team0001The A Team
73.0
 
1 73 73 24.0 0 0 0 1 0
11
A Whiter Shade Of Pale0001A Whiter Shade Of Pale
56.0
 
1 56 56 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
12
A Whole New World0001A Whole New World
90.0
 
1 90 90 10.0 0 0 0 0 1
13
Across The Universe0001Across The Universe
62.5
 
2 66 59 20.0 0 0 1 1 0
14
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
15
Aint Goin Down Til The Sun Comes Up0001Ain't Goin' Down ('Til The Sun Comes Up)
49.3
 
3 80 25 19.7 0 1 1 0 1
16
Aint Misbehavin0001Ain't Misbehavin'
36.0
 
1 36 36 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
17
Aint No Mountain High Enough0001Ain't No Mountain High Enough
35.3
 
3 50 8 12.3 1 0 2 0 0
18
Aint No Sunshine0001Ain't No Sunshine
72.0
 
4 90 46 15.0 0 0 1 1 2
19
Aint No Way0001Ain't No Way
59.0
 
2 64 54 20.5 0 0 1 1 0
20
Ain't Nobody0001Ain't Nobody
64.0
 
2 85 43 17.5 0 0 1 0 1
21
Aint Too Proud To Beg0001Ain't Too Proud To Beg
52.8
 
5 84 19 17.4 1 0 2 1 1
22
All By Myself0001All By Myself
56.8
 
5 92 23 15.0 0 2 0 1 2
23
All Cried Out0001All Cried Out
American Idol original song
52.0
 
1 52 52 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
24
All I Do0001All I Do
67.0
 
1 67 67 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
25
All I Really Need Is You0001All I Really Need Is You
77.0
 
1 77 77 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
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