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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
101 41038 May 9, 2012
California / Wish You Wrote
4 10
59.6
 
85 39 19.4 0 1 5 1 3
102 41325 Feb 20, 2013
Open
10 10
46.5
 
78 8 14.9 1 4 2 3 0
103 41326 Feb 21, 2013
Open
10 10
39.8
 
68 12 18.4 1 4 3 2 0
104 41332 Feb 27, 2013
Open
10 10
50.5
 
81 26 22.7 0 3 3 3 1
105 41333 Feb 28, 2013
Open
10 10
44.3
 
78 16 20.7 1 3 5 1 0
106 41338 Mar 5, 2013
Open
10 10
54.0
 
86 5 15.3 1 2 3 2 2
107 41339 Mar 6, 2013
Open
10 10
47.2
 
76 8 19.4 1 2 5 2 0
108 41346 Mar 13, 2013
Music of the American Idols
10 10
52.1
 
89 22 15.6 0 2 4 3 1
109 41367 Apr 3, 2013
Rock - No Ballads
7 10
48.0
 
71 13 18.5 1 3 2 4 0
110 41381 Apr 17, 2013
Year You Were Born / Divas
5 10
58.6
 
73 40 19.5 0 0 4 6 0
111 41388 Apr 24, 2013
Open / One-Hit Wonders
4 10
52.6
 
79 27 21.2 0 2 4 4 0
112 41688 Feb 18, 2014
Open
10 10
43.9
 
74 7 20.3 2 1 5 2 0
113 41689 Feb 19, 2014
Open
10 10
46.5
 
74 4 19.4 1 3 2 4 0
114 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
115 41745 Apr 16, 2014
Competitors' Picks
7 10
58.0
 
90 15 19.3 1 1 2 5 1
116 42424 Feb 24, 2016
Favorite Performance
10 10
42.2
 
79 14 18.2 1 5 1 3 0
117 42425 Feb 25, 2016
Songs From the Idol Era
10 10
51.8
 
88 15 14.7 1 2 2 3 2
118 42432 Mar 3, 2016
The Grammys
10 10
50.1
 
77 20 15.8 0 3 3 4 0
119 42460 Mar 31, 2016
Hometown / Scott's / Judges' Choice
4 10
57.1
 
89 17 18.0 1 1 3 3 2
120 43220 Apr 30, 2018
Disney
10 10
61.0
 
82 34 21.9 0 1 3 5 1
121 43233 May 13, 2018
Carrie Underwood / Mothers' Day
5 10
53.8
 
78 16 20.5 1 2 3 4 0
122 37684 Mar 4, 2003
Open
9 9
46.3
 
90 17 15.7 1 3 2 1 2
123 37754 May 13, 2003
Random / Judge's / Idol's
3 9
54.4
 
88 16 17.7 1 0 4 3 1
124 38083 Apr 6, 2004
Elton John
9 9
50.0
 
89 8 15.8 2 1 2 1 3
125 38125 May 18, 2004
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
55.4
 
84 23 14.6 0 3 2 1 3
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