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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
Dumb Blonde0001Dumb Blonde
41.0
 
1 41 41 20.0 0 0 1 0 0
277
Earned It0001Earned It
78.0
 
1 78 78 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
278
Earth Song0001Earth Song
38.0
 
1 38 38 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
279
Easy0001Easy
31.0
 
2 55 7 13.0 1 0 1 0 0
280
Edge Of Glory0001The Edge Of Glory
67.5
 
2 77 58 18.0 0 0 1 1 0
281
Edge Of Seventeen0001Edge Of Seventeen
36.0
 
1 36 36 26.0 0 1 0 0 0
282
Eight Days A Week0001Eight Days A Week
3.0
 
1 3 3 10.0 1 0 0 0 0
283
Eleanor Rigby0001Eleanor Rigby
56.3
 
3 82 36 19.3 0 1 1 0 1
284
Emotion0001Emotion
48.0
 
2 61 35 19.0 0 1 0 1 0
285
Empire State Of Mind0001Empire State Of Mind
58.0
 
1 58 58 24.0 0 0 1 0 0
286
End Of The Road0001End Of The Road
49.0
 
2 57 41 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
287
Endless Love0001Endless Love
35.5
 
4 46 27 18.3 0 3 1 0 0
288
Eternal Flame0001Eternal Flame
46.0
 
1 46 46 18.0 0 0 1 0 0
289
Everlasting Love0001Everlasting Love
35.0
 
3 61 9 17.3 1 1 0 1 0
290
Every Breath You Take0001Every Breath You Take
71.8
 
4 79 65 20.3 0 0 0 4 0
291
Every Little Step0001Every Little Step
16.0
 
1 16 16 13.0 1 0 0 0 0
292
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
293
Everybody Has A Dream0001Everybody Has A Dream
79.0
 
1 79 79 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
294
Everybody Hurts0001Everybody Hurts
26.0
 
1 26 26 22.0 0 1 0 0 0
295
Everybody Knows0001Everybody Knows
69.0
 
1 69 69 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
296
Everybody Wants To Rule The World0001Everybody Wants To Rule The World
24.0
 
1 24 24 19.0 0 1 0 0 0
297
Everybodys Talkin0001Everybody's Talkin'
22.0
 
1 22 22 17.0 0 1 0 0 0
298
Everything0001Everything
52.0
 
1 52 52 22.0 0 0 1 0 0
299
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
300
Everytime You Go Away0001Everytime You Go Away
32.0
 
1 32 32 20.0 0 1 0 0 0
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