American Idol – Thoughts on the Theme – Most Performed Songs

Well if you ever thought that the American Idol Producers had completely fucked up a theme night, and that there was no possible way they could pick a worse theme (see “Favorite Performance”), well you’ve lucked out because tonight, tonight is by far, the WORST theme idea in the history of theme ideas. Folks tonight, welcome to American Idols tribute to itself:

Most Performed Songs on American Idol


The most performed songs on Idol aren’t even really good songs. I have this spreadsheet of every song performed on American Idol, from the semifinals forward, for every season. I know the facts. Not only that, but performing a song that’s been performed upwards of 6 times (which I’m assuming is the cut-off number), you’re going to be compared to all those other performances. Will they be better? There’s a chance. But there’s also a really good chance that one of these performances was legendary and should’ve been retired post-performance, but instead, contestants still try to reach the unreachable. But anyway… I do like numbers and statistics, so lets look at the most performed songs (by my numbers) and see what we think folks will be singing. I’ll also note when one of those songs has been done already – because they have, unfortunately. I mean, it wouldn’t be a most performed song otherwise, would it?

Topping my charts with 8 performances were 3 jams. Can you guess?

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing
Performed by:
top06 - idontwannamiss

Best performance – For my taste, I think I’d pick Allison Iraheta. I feel like Josh Gracins was also good but I couldn’t find a video of it and I don’t remember it well enough.

When a Man Loves a Woman
Performed by:

top06 - whenaman

Best performance: Clark Beckham. I think I mentioned it… 

And the only song I’m not sick of hearing over and over again:

I Have Nothing
Performed by:

top06 - ihavenothing

Best Peformance: Probably Jessica Sanchez? Jennifer Hudson? Vonzell? Katherine? I think I’d say anyone except Shannon and Leah. I even went back and listened again and they’re the only less than remarkable performances. I also learned from Katherine McPhee’s performance that David Foster actually wrote the song. What up Former Mr. Yolanda.

It should also be noted that of those 8 performances of When a Man Loves a Woman – 2 were bottom 2 performances and 2 were eliminating performances. But hopefully we won’t hear this song because Trent already performed it last week! And oddly enough, I could see it sending him home (if he wasn’t a white 20something male). “I Have Nothing” also had one of each (but does it really count as an elimination song if it’s in the finale? No.), and “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” didn’t have any “bottom 3” material… though some of them should’ve been.

There are also 6 songs that were performed 7 times, 12 preformed 6 times and 29 performed 5 times. I think personally, let songs become “5 timers” and once they hit that mark, don’t allow contestants the opportunity to sing them again. I mean, I realize it doesn’t matter now, but that would’ve been my rule, if it were an option. And according to one blog/website, Simon actually had a list of banned songs, which the writer agreed, was far shorter than what the list should’ve been. Then he included his list of songs that should be banned and for the record, this is basically the same list I’d make. Maybe one or two possible adjustments but this is pretty solid. Michael Slezak also has a list of 20 songs he’d ban and I’m 100% on board with it. We could probably use this list as the song list for tonight, if you ask me.

But anyway, if you want to see the full list of Most Performed Songs, check out the bottom of this blog. I will say this category also had me wondering – who do you think is the most performed artist? Well, lucky for you, I have that information for you.

I know. Calm down. It’s a lot to take in.

 So, I do have to say there’s a bit of a caveat as to the Top Performed singers/bands. See, it all goes back to theme nights. See, of the Top 11 (there’s a reason I looked through 11), all but 2 had a theme night dedicated to them. And the other two are Motown artists, and we all know that Motown has been a theme 5 times. Also, it should be noted that the Top 3 performers all had at least 2 dedicated theme nights. So without further adieu, the most performed person on Idol is:

top06 - steviewonder

Not bad right? I don’t know who I thought it would be but I didn’t think it would be Stevie. The guy did have 2 theme nights though. Not to mention how many other themes he fits into – Motown, Soul, any decade specific theme from the 60’s forward. Probably a lot of the Billboard themes too. It doesn’t hurt that the guy has a boat load of hits. His songs have been done on the Idol stage a staggering 62 times! Isn’t that crazy? As for the other Top 11?

top06 - most performed artists

The Beatles (also 2 theme nights) – 53 times
Elton (also 2 theme nights) – 36 times
Whitney Houston (1 theme night) – 34 times
Elvis (2 theme nights), Marvin Gay (no theme nights) and Michael Jackson (1 theme night) – 26 times
Queen (1 theme night) – 25 times
Bill Joel (2 theme nights) – 23 times
Aretha Franklin (no theme nights) – 22 times
Kelly Clarkson (1 theme night) – 20 times

Now you see why I had to go out to 11. Had to fit my girl Kelly in. And she’s the only Idol on here so I felt it was worthy. If I’d had to go out to like, 20th place, I wouldn’t have bothered.

and finally, for those who wanted that song list, here you go! Have fun guessing what over-performed song will be performed tonight!

top06 - mostperformed

Categories: American Idol, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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