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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
151 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
152 38447 Apr 5, 2005
Classic Musicals
9 9
47.7
 
71 11 16.1 2 1 2 4 0
153 37712 Apr 1, 2003
Disco
8 8
47.5
 
77 9 17.9 2 1 2 3 0
154 38118 May 11, 2004
Disco
4 8
47.5
 
81 9 14.1 2 0 2 3 1
155 38419 Mar 8, 2005
Open
8 8
47.5
 
80 7 16.4 1 2 2 2 1
156 39546 Apr 8, 2008
Inspirational (Idol Gives Back)
8 8
47.5
 
79 21 22.6 0 3 2 3 0
157 38041 Feb 24, 2004
Open
8 8
47.4
 
92 10 17.6 1 1 4 1 1
158 39497 Feb 19, 2008
1960s
12 12
47.3
 
82 17 17.6 2 4 2 3 1
159 41339 Mar 6, 2013
Open
10 10
47.2
 
76 8 19.4 1 2 5 2 0
160 41703 Mar 5, 2014
Home
12 12
47.2
 
64 23 20.2 0 3 5 4 0
161 40967 Feb 28, 2012
Open
13 13
47.0
 
79 7 20.3 1 4 5 3 0
162 39525 Mar 18, 2008
Beatles
11 11
46.9
 
72 16 20.2 1 3 3 4 0
163 38811 Apr 4, 2006
Country
9 9
46.9
 
71 17 22.0 1 1 4 3 0
164 41738 Apr 9, 2014
80's
8 12
46.8
 
86 21 19.3 0 5 3 3 1
165 37705 Mar 25, 2003
Country Rock
10 10
46.7
 
80 28 22.7 0 5 3 1 1
166 38405 Feb 22, 2005
Open
12 12
46.7
 
87 13 18.8 1 5 2 2 2
167 39574 May 6, 2008
Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
4 8
46.5
 
71 9 20.1 2 0 4 2 0
168 41325 Feb 20, 2013
Open
10 10
46.5
 
78 8 14.9 1 4 2 3 0
169 41347 Mar 14, 2013
Open
2 2
46.5
 
47 46 19.5 0 0 2 0 0
170 41689 Feb 19, 2014
Open
10 10
46.5
 
74 4 19.4 1 3 2 4 0
171 39903 Mar 31, 2009
Top iTunes Downloads
9 9
46.4
 
87 9 18.6 1 3 3 1 1
172 37684 Mar 4, 2003
Open
9 9
46.3
 
90 17 15.7 1 3 2 1 2
173 39861 Feb 17, 2009
Billboard Hot 100
12 12
46.3
 
80 9 15.6 2 3 2 3 2
174 38048 Mar 2, 2004
Open
8 8
46.0
 
79 7 16.3 2 1 2 3 0
175 40618 Mar 16, 2011
Year You Were Born
12 12
45.9
 
78 14 19.7 1 5 2 4 0
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