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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
276
Eleanor Rigby0001Eleanor Rigby
56.3
 
3 82 36 19.3 0 1 1 0 1
277
Emotion0001Emotion
48.0
 
2 61 35 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
278
End Of The Road0001End Of The Road
49.0
 
2 57 41 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
279
Endless Love0001Endless Love
35.5
 
4 46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
280
Eternal Flame0001Eternal Flame
46.0
 
1 46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
281
Everlasting Love0001Everlasting Love
35.0
 
3 61 9 17.3 1 1 0 1 0
282
Every Breath You Take0001Every Breath You Take
71.5
 
4 78 65 20.3 0 0 0 4 0
283
Every Little Step0001Every Little Step
16.0
 
1 16 16 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
284
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic0001Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
18.3
 
3 26 10 15.3 2 1 0 0 0
285
Everybody Has A Dream0001Everybody Has A Dream
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
286
Everybody Hurts0001Everybody Hurts
26.0
 
1 26 26 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
287
Everybody Knows0001Everybody Knows
69.0
 
1 69 69 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
288
Everybody Wants To Rule The World0001Everybody Wants To Rule The World
26.0
 
1 26 26 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
289
Everybodys Talkin0001Everybody's Talkin'
22.0
 
1 22 22 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
290
Everything0001Everything
52.0
 
1 52 52 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
291
Everything I Do I Do It For You0001(Everything I Do) I Do It For You
37.3
 
3 66 16 18.0 1 1 0 1 0
292
Everytime You Go Away0001Everytime You Go Away
43.0
 
1 43 43 21.0 0 0 1 0 0
293
Everytime You Go Away0001Everytime You Go Away
32.0
 
1 32 32 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
294
Fairytales0001Fairytales
86.0
 
1 86 86 18.0 0 0 0 0 1
295
Faithfully0001Faithfully
61.0
 
3 86 40 16.7 0 0 2 0 1
296
Fallin0001Fallin'
50.0
 
4 67 28 20.8 0 1 2 1 0
297
Falling Slowly0001Falling Slowly
73.7
 
3 79 65 23.3 0 0 0 3 0
298
Family Tree0001Family Tree
70.0
 
1 70 70 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
299
Fancy0001Fancy
65.0
 
1 65 65 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
300
Fancy0001Fancy
87.0
 
1 87 87 21.0 0 0 0 0 1
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