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Episodes

Among the many curiosities you'll find in the Episodes table below is this little tidbit: From Season Two through Season Six, the lowest-rated Final 3 episode (AI5's, at 54.7) outpolled the highest-rated Finale (AI2's, 54.0). But upon further review, we suppose that's not all that surprising. AI Finales tend to be ragged affairs comprising 83 separate commercial breaks, a few reprise performances, and those always-popular American Idol Original Winners' Songs™, which the staff at WNTS.com is convinced are secretly written by saboteurs hired by rival networks.

On the other hand, a Final 3 episode is truly Must-See TV: three contestants, three songs apiece, and two tickets to the Kodak Theater on the line. Each contestant is fresh off an emotional trip home, and each is forced, for the first time since the Hollywood Round, to perform at least one song not of his or her own choosing. The pressure has to be suffocating, but by and large the Idols have risen to the challenge: nine 5-star performances (including 90-plus ones from Bo Bice and Katharine McPhee), 13 at 4-stars, and just two clocking in at 1-star. The Final Three are usually in it to win it.

As for the rest of the episodes, about the only advice we can offer is this: never try to predict whether or not a show will be any good based on its theme. As evidence, take a look at some of the themes of the highest-rated episodes below.

[back to top] American Idol  Episodes

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# Date Episode / Theme #Cn #Pf Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
51 41710 Mar 12, 2014
Songs from the Cinema
11 11
55.2
 
90 15 16.7 2 1 2 4 2
52 41395 May 1, 2013
Now and Then
4 8
54.8
 
85 29 19.9 0 1 5 1 1
53 38853 May 16, 2006
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
54.6
 
90 21 17.6 0 1 5 2 1
54 37488 Aug 20, 2002
1980s & 1990s
4 8
54.5
 
82 17 21.0 2 0 1 4 1
55 40267 Mar 30, 2010
Soul / R&B
10 10
54.5
 
89 19 16.0 1 2 2 3 2
56 37754 May 13, 2003
Random / Judge's / Idol's
3 9
54.4
 
88 16 17.7 1 0 4 3 1
57 39938 May 5, 2009
Rock
4 6
54.3
 
88 7 18.2 1 1 1 1 2
58 41003 Apr 4, 2012
1980s
8 12
54.3
 
78 32 20.8 0 2 5 5 0
59 37726 Apr 15, 2003
Billy Joel
7 7
54.3
 
91 8 14.9 1 1 2 2 1
60 42446 Mar 17, 2016
America's Requests
6 11
54.2
 
88 26 16.2 0 3 4 2 2
61 39882 Mar 10, 2009
Michael Jackson
13 13
54.2
 
83 23 21.0 0 5 2 4 2
62 37761 May 20, 2003
Finale
2 6
54.0
 
86 39 15.8 0 2 3 0 1
63 41338 Mar 5, 2013
Open
10 10
54.0
 
86 5 15.3 1 2 3 2 2
64 42123 Apr 29, 2015
Judges Hometown / What I Am
4 8
53.9
 
72 35 23.1 0 2 3 3 0
65 41017 Apr 18, 2012
Now and Then
7 14
53.9
 
82 27 23.1 0 4 5 3 2
66 38062 Mar 16, 2004
Soul
12 12
53.8
 
87 6 17.0 1 4 2 1 4
67 39945 May 12, 2009
Judges' Choice / Idol's Choice
3 6
53.7
 
87 28 20.7 0 1 3 1 1
68 40316 May 18, 2010
Judges' Choice / Idols' Choice
3 6
53.7
 
77 19 19.7 1 1 1 3 0
69 37698 Mar 18, 2003
Movie Hits
11 11
53.6
 
90 19 13.5 1 3 2 2 3
70 39910 Apr 7, 2009
Year You Were Born
8 8
53.6
 
94 15 16.8 1 1 3 1 2
71 37481 Aug 13, 2002
Burt Bacharach Love Songs
5 5
53.6
 
92 15 20.4 1 0 2 1 1
72 38111 May 4, 2004
Big Band
5 10
53.5
 
91 24 20.3 0 2 5 1 2
73 38132 May 25, 2004
Finale
2 6
53.5
 
83 20 12.7 0 2 1 2 1
74 41031 May 2, 2012
60's / British
5 12
53.4
 
82 16 19.8 1 3 3 4 1
75 41374 Apr 10, 2013
Burt Bacharach / Wish You Wrote
6 12
53.4
 
96 2 15.1 1 2 3 4 2
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