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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
126 38027 Feb 10, 2004
Open
8 8
50.9
 
84 25 21.5 0 4 1 2 1
127 38461 Apr 19, 2005
1970s Dance Music
7 7
50.7
 
88 34 22.3 0 3 2 1 1
128 37719 Apr 8, 2003
Billboard #1 Hits
8 8
50.6
 
87 11 18.8 2 0 2 3 1
129 39141 Feb 28, 2007
Open
10 10
50.6
 
92 13 14.8 2 2 2 3 1
130 38069 Mar 23, 2004
Country
11 11
50.5
 
89 17 18.7 1 3 2 3 2
131 41332 Feb 27, 2013
Open
10 10
50.5
 
81 26 22.7 0 3 3 3 1
132 37467 Jul 30, 2002
1970s
7 7
50.4
 
76 29 19.1 0 3 1 3 0
133 38418 Mar 7, 2005
Open
8 8
50.4
 
85 16 17.6 1 2 3 1 1
134 38783 Mar 7, 2006
Open
8 8
50.4
 
87 12 18.5 1 1 4 1 1
135 39148 Mar 7, 2007
Open
8 8
50.3
 
88 17 14.8 1 1 3 2 1
136 42432 Mar 3, 2016
The Grammys
10 10
50.1
 
77 20 15.8 0 3 3 4 0
137 38083 Apr 6, 2004
Elton John
9 9
50.0
 
89 8 15.8 2 1 2 1 3
138 38818 Apr 11, 2006
Queen
8 8
50.0
 
68 12 23.4 1 1 3 3 0
139 39553 Apr 15, 2008
Mariah Carey
7 7
50.0
 
76 28 23.3 0 2 4 1 0
140 38860 May 23, 2006
Finale
2 6
49.8
 
77 13 12.5 1 1 2 2 0
141 38784 Mar 8, 2006
Open
8 8
49.8
 
80 24 19.9 0 3 2 2 1
142 42116 Apr 22, 2015
Arena Anthems
6 12
49.6
 
88 15 20.9 1 3 4 3 1
143 39189 Apr 17, 2007
Country
7 7
49.6
 
84 9 13.6 2 1 1 1 2
144 38468 Apr 26, 2005
2000s
6 6
49.5
 
82 17 19.3 1 1 2 1 1
145 40247 Mar 10, 2010
Billboard charts
8 8
49.5
 
80 21 23.3 0 2 3 2 1
146 38777 Mar 1, 2006
Open
10 10
49.4
 
92 19 15.6 1 3 3 1 2
147 39498 Feb 20, 2008
1960s
12 12
49.3
 
84 6 19.5 2 1 4 4 1
148 38770 Feb 22, 2006
Open
12 12
49.2
 
85 7 16.5 1 4 3 2 2
149 37446 Jul 9, 2002
Open
5 5
49.0
 
65 31 20.2 0 1 2 2 0
150 38076 Mar 30, 2004
Motown
10 10
49.0
 
84 6 16.1 1 2 3 3 1
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