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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
201 42068 Mar 5, 2015
Motown
8 8
46.0
 
82 7 19.4 1 2 3 1 1
202 40618 Mar 16, 2011
Year You Were Born
12 12
45.9
 
78 14 19.7 1 5 2 4 0
203 38769 Feb 21, 2006
Open
12 12
45.8
 
80 10 15.8 3 2 3 3 1
204 39154 Mar 13, 2007
Diana Ross
12 12
45.8
 
85 8 15.2 2 3 4 1 2
205 42067 Mar 4, 2015
Motown
8 8
45.8
 
66 15 17.0 2 1 3 2 0
206 39917 Apr 14, 2009
Songs From The Cinema
7 7
45.7
 
69 15 20.4 1 2 1 3 0
207 37670 Feb 18, 2003
Open
8 8
45.5
 
74 25 22.9 0 3 4 1 0
208 37656 Feb 4, 2003
Open
8 8
45.1
 
70 11 19.3 1 3 1 3 0
209 38412 Mar 1, 2005
Open
10 10
44.5
 
68 10 21.3 1 2 5 2 0
210 40969 Mar 1, 2012
Open
6 6
44.5
 
77 18 18.0 2 0 2 2 0
211 38055 Mar 9, 2004
Open
8 8
44.4
 
72 24 18.5 0 5 0 3 0
212 37453 Jul 16, 2002
Motown
10 10
44.3
 
77 7 13.6 2 2 3 3 0
213 41333 Feb 28, 2013
Open
10 10
44.3
 
78 16 20.7 1 3 5 1 0
214 41688 Feb 18, 2014
Open
10 10
43.9
 
74 7 20.3 2 1 5 2 0
215 42082 Mar 19, 2015
Songs from the Cinema
11 11
43.8
 
83 5 14.5 2 3 2 3 1
216 39869 Feb 25, 2009
Billboard Hot 100
12 12
43.6
 
84 4 19.8 2 4 3 2 1
217 40239 Mar 2, 2010
Billboard charts
10 10
43.4
 
70 15 20.4 1 3 3 3 0
218 38104 Apr 27, 2004
Gloria Estefan
6 6
43.3
 
72 8 16.5 1 3 0 2 0
219 40232 Feb 23, 2010
Billboard charts
12 12
43.3
 
79 7 18.5 3 2 2 5 0
220 43198 Apr 8, 2018
Open
12 12
43.3
 
76 23 22.8 0 6 3 3 0
221 39567 Apr 29, 2008
Neil Diamond
5 10
43.1
 
77 10 20.1 2 2 3 3 0
222 42417 Feb 17, 2016
Open
12 12
43.1
 
73 24 23.1 0 7 2 3 0
223 39147 Mar 6, 2007
Open
8 8
42.4
 
67 21 17.4 0 4 2 2 0
224 39182 Apr 10, 2007
Latin
8 8
42.3
 
73 17 19.8 1 3 3 1 0
225 42424 Feb 24, 2016
Favorite Performance
10 10
42.2
 
79 14 18.2 1 5 1 3 0
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