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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
Gravity0001Gravity
42.0
 
2 60 24 19.5 0 1 0 1 0
127
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?0001Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
56.0
 
2 65 47 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
128
Here Comes Goodbye0001Here Comes Goodbye
60.0
 
2 79 41 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
129
How Am I Supposed To Live Without You0001How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
40.5
 
4 62 25 19.5 0 3 0 1 0
130
I Am Changing0001I Am Changing
71.0
 
2 78 64 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
131
I Dont Want To Be0001I Don't Want To Be
53.3
 
6 82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
132
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
133
In The Still Of The Nite0001In The Still Of The Nite
41.0
 
2 46 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
134
Islands In The Stream0001Islands In The Stream
45.0
 
2 54 36 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
135
Just Give Me A Reason0001Just Give Me A Reason
37.5
 
2 46 29 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
136
Just The Way You Are0001Just The Way You Are
53.5
 
2 64 43 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
137
Lately0001Lately
48.7
 
6 67 25 19.5 0 2 2 2 0
138
Mack The Knife0001Mack The Knife
65.0
 
2 72 58 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
139
Never Too Much0001Never Too Much
39.0
 
2 39 39 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
140
Nights On Broadway0001Nights On Broadway
56.0
 
2 56 56 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
141
Oh Darling0001Oh! Darling
54.5
 
2 65 44 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
142
Scientist0001The Scientist
69.0
 
2 78 60 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
143
Spinning Wheel0001Spinning Wheel
76.5
 
2 84 69 19.5 0 0 0 1 1
144
Titanium0001Titanium
45.0
 
2 57 33 19.5 0 1 1 0 0
145
Way You Look Tonight0001The Way You Look Tonight
47.3
 
4 71 20 19.5 0 1 2 1 0
146
What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted0001What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
31.0
 
2 35 27 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
147
When I Was Your Man0001When I Was Your Man
69.0
 
2 80 58 19.5 0 0 1 0 1
148
Saving All My Love For You0001Saving All My Love For You
42.8
 
5 62 25 19.4 0 2 2 1 0
149
Anyone Who Had A Heart0001Anyone Who Had A Heart
40.7
 
3 49 33 19.3 0 1 2 0 0
150
Eleanor Rigby0001Eleanor Rigby
56.3
 
3 82 36 19.3 0 1 1 0 1
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