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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

Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Date Episode / Theme #Cn #Pf Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
101 39161 Mar 20, 2007
British Invasion
11 11
52.1
 
86 23 18.0 0 4 3 2 2
102 39897 Mar 25, 2009
Motown
10 10
52.0
 
87 14 17.2 2 1 3 2 2
103 40288 Apr 20, 2010
Inspirational (Idol Gives Back)
7 7
52.0
 
88 31 20.9 0 3 1 2 1
104 41045 May 16, 2012
Judges' / Idols' / Jimmy's Choice
3 9
52.0
 
74 28 21.6 0 1 5 3 0
105 39512 Mar 5, 2008
1980s
8 8
51.9
 
80 26 20.9 0 1 5 1 1
106 42425 Feb 25, 2016
Songs From the Idol Era
10 10
51.8
 
88 15 14.7 1 2 2 3 2
107 39875 Mar 3, 2009
Billboard Hot 100
12 12
51.8
 
84 12 19.6 2 2 2 5 1
108 40246 Mar 9, 2010
Billboard charts
8 8
51.8
 
90 14 13.3 1 2 2 2 1
109 39196 Apr 24, 2007
Life Anthems (Idol Gives Back)
6 6
51.7
 
82 28 18.5 0 3 1 0 2
110 40611 Mar 9, 2011
Personal Idol
13 13
51.6
 
84 24 20.3 0 3 6 3 1
111 40653 Apr 20, 2011
21st Century
7 7
51.6
 
77 27 22.1 0 3 1 3 0
112 38832 Apr 25, 2006
Love Songs
6 6
51.5
 
88 5 15.8 1 1 2 1 1
113 40309 May 11, 2010
Songs From the Movies
4 6
51.5
 
77 21 21.3 0 2 1 3 0
114 41773 May 14, 2014
Randy's / Judges' / Hometown Choice
3 9
51.4
 
86 17 17.7 1 3 2 1 2
115 39504 Feb 26, 2008
1970s
10 10
51.4
 
93 19 17.9 1 3 2 2 2
116 38454 Apr 12, 2005
Year You Were Born
8 8
51.4
 
90 19 20.6 1 1 4 1 1
117 39175 Apr 3, 2007
American Classics
9 9
51.3
 
86 24 19.6 0 3 4 1 1
118 40687 May 24, 2011
Finale
2 6
51.3
 
74 25 20.5 0 2 2 2 0
119 37691 Mar 11, 2003
Motown
12 12
51.3
 
82 29 17.9 0 4 4 2 2
120 39581 May 13, 2008
Idol's / Producers' / Judges'
3 9
51.2
 
86 16 20.4 1 2 2 3 1
121 39518 Mar 11, 2008
Lennon-McCartney
12 12
51.2
 
85 3 16.5 2 3 3 0 4
122 40295 Apr 27, 2010
Shania Twain
6 6
51.2
 
77 40 25.0 0 0 5 1 0
123 38411 Feb 28, 2005
Open
10 10
51.1
 
90 16 21.2 1 2 4 2 1
124 41360 Mar 27, 2013
Detroit
8 11
51.0
 
81 6 19.3 1 2 4 3 1
125 40603 Mar 1, 2011
Open
12 12
50.9
 
90 5 16.7 1 4 2 2 3
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