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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
God Bless The Child0001God Bless The Child
54.3
 
4 82 21 19.8 0 1 1 1 1
127
Someone To Watch Over Me0001Someone To Watch Over Me
66.0
 
4 87 48 19.8 0 0 2 1 1
128
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
129
Dont Leave Me This Way0001Don't Leave Me This Way
57.0
 
3 61 53 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
130
Gunpowder And Lead0001Gunpowder And Lead
60.0
 
3 72 41 19.7 0 0 1 2 0
131
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
132
Imagine0001Imagine
60.7
 
6 93 39 19.7 0 1 3 1 1
133
Moon River0001Moon River
46.3
 
3 70 26 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
134
Part Time Lover0001Part-Time Lover
40.0
 
3 56 14 19.7 1 0 2 0 0
135
Ribbon In The Sky0001Ribbon In The Sky
44.0
 
3 61 29 19.7 0 1 1 1 0
136
Total Eclipse Of The Heart0001Total Eclipse Of The Heart
61.3
 
3 73 54 19.7 0 0 2 1 0
137
Trouble 10001Trouble
65.3
 
3 86 48 19.7 0 0 1 1 1
138
When I Fall In Love0001When I Fall In Love
34.7
 
3 42 27 19.7 0 2 1 0 0
139
Breathe0001Breathe
24.5
 
2 28 21 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
140
Dancing In The Street0001Dancing In The Street
56.0
 
2 67 45 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
141
Earned It0001Earned It
77.5
 
2 78 77 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
142
End Of The Road0001End Of The Road
49.0
 
2 57 41 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
143
Gravity0001Gravity
42.0
 
2 60 24 19.5 0 1 0 1 0
144
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?0001Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
56.0
 
2 65 47 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
145
Here Comes Goodbye0001Here Comes Goodbye
60.0
 
2 79 41 19.5 0 0 1 1 0
146
I Am Changing0001I Am Changing
71.0
 
2 78 64 19.5 0 0 0 2 0
147
I Dont Want To Be0001I Don't Want To Be
53.3
 
6 82 40 19.5 0 0 4 1 1
148
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)0001I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
41.8
 
6 52 19 19.5 1 0 5 0 0
149
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
150
Im Yours0001I'm Yours
33.5
 
2 38 29 19.5 0 2 0 0 0
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