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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 41689 Feb 19, 2014
Open
10 10
46.5
 
74 4 19.4 1 3 2 4 0
102 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
103 41745 Apr 16, 2014
Competitors' Picks
7 10
58.0
 
90 15 19.3 1 1 2 5 1
104 37684 Mar 4, 2003
Open
9 9
46.3
 
90 17 15.7 1 3 2 1 2
105 37754 May 13, 2003
Random / Judge's / Idol's
3 9
54.4
 
88 16 17.7 1 0 4 3 1
106 38083 Apr 6, 2004
Elton John
9 9
50.0
 
89 8 15.8 2 1 2 1 3
107 38125 May 18, 2004
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
55.4
 
84 23 14.6 0 3 2 1 3
108 38447 Apr 5, 2005
Classic Musicals
9 9
47.7
 
71 11 16.1 2 1 2 4 0
109 38489 May 17, 2005
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
58.1
 
94 33 16.0 0 1 5 1 2
110 38811 Apr 4, 2006
Country
9 9
46.9
 
71 17 22.0 1 1 4 3 0
111 38853 May 16, 2006
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
54.6
 
90 21 17.6 0 1 5 2 1
112 39175 Apr 3, 2007
American Classics
9 9
51.3
 
86 24 19.6 0 3 4 1 1
113 39217 May 15, 2007
Idol's / Producers' / Judge's
3 9
59.2
 
80 33 22.6 0 2 2 4 1
114 39539 Apr 1, 2008
Dolly Parton
9 9
58.3
 
83 24 18.4 0 1 4 3 1
115 39581 May 13, 2008
Idol's / Producers' / Judges'
3 9
51.2
 
86 16 20.4 1 2 2 3 1
116 39903 Mar 31, 2009
Top iTunes Downloads
9 9
46.4
 
87 9 18.6 1 3 3 1 1
117 40274 Apr 6, 2010
Lennon-McCartney
9 9
60.1
 
89 33 19.2 0 2 3 2 2
118 40281 Apr 13, 2010
Elvis Presley
9 9
53.3
 
81 14 19.1 1 0 5 2 1
119 40639 Apr 6, 2011
Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
9 9
60.8
 
86 33 20.9 0 1 3 4 1
120 40660 Apr 27, 2011
Carole King
6 9
55.4
 
92 23 20.7 0 3 2 1 3
121 40681 May 18, 2011
Idols' / Jimmy's / Judges' Choice
3 9
53.2
 
85 30 21.7 0 4 2 2 1
122 40996 Mar 28, 2012
Personal Idol
9 9
64.7
 
93 45 19.9 0 0 4 3 2
123 41045 May 16, 2012
Judges' / Idols' / Jimmy's Choice
3 9
52.0
 
74 28 21.6 0 1 5 3 0
124 41353 Mar 20, 2013
The Beatles
9 9
53.3
 
78 13 17.9 1 1 3 4 0
125 41402 May 8, 2013
Jimmy's / Judges' / Producers' Choice
3 9
56.6
 
87 28 19.2 0 1 4 3 1
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