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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 (Min. 2 Perfs)


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
126
Dont Leave Me This Way0001Don't Leave Me This Way
57.0
 
3 61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
127
Gunpowder And Lead0001Gunpowder And Lead
60.0
 
3 72 41 19.7 0 0 1 2 0
128
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart0001How Can You Mend A Broken Heart
68.3
 
3 78 59 19.7 0 0 1 2 0
129
Imagine0001Imagine
60.7
 
6 93 39 19.7 0 1 3 1 1
130
Moon River0001Moon River
46.3
 
3 70 26 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
131
Part Time Lover0001Part-Time Lover
40.0
 
3 56 14 19.7 1 0 2 0 0
132
Ribbon In The Sky0001Ribbon In The Sky
44.0
 
3 61 29 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
133
Total Eclipse Of The Heart0001Total Eclipse Of The Heart
61.3
 
3 73 54 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
134
Trouble 10001Trouble
65.3
 
3 86 48 19.7 0 0 1 1 1
135
When I Fall In Love0001When I Fall In Love
34.7
 
3 42 27 19.7 0 2 1 0 0
136
A Broken Wing0001A Broken Wing
72.3
 
4 82 68 19.5 0 0 0 3 1
137
Breathe0001Breathe
24.5
 
2 28 21 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
138
Dancing In The Street0001Dancing In The Street
56.0
 
2 67 45 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
139
End Of The Road0001End Of The Road
49.0
 
2 57 41 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
140
Gravity0001Gravity
42.0
 
2 60 24 19.5 0 1 0 1 0
141
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?0001Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
56.0
 
2 65 47 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
142
Here Comes Goodbye0001Here Comes Goodbye
60.0
 
2 79 41 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
143
I Am Changing0001I Am Changing
71.0
 
2 78 64 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
144
I Dont Want To Be0001I Don't Want To Be
53.3
 
6 82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
145
I Want To Know What Love Is0001I Want To Know What Love Is
44.0
 
2 47 41 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
146
Im Yours0001I'm Yours
33.5
 
2 38 29 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
147
In The Still Of The Nite0001In The Still Of The Nite
41.0
 
2 46 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
148
Islands In The Stream0001Islands In The Stream
45.0
 
2 54 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
149
Just Give Me A Reason0001Just Give Me A Reason
37.5
 
2 46 29 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
150
Just The Way You Are0001Just The Way You Are
53.5
 
2 64 43 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
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