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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
151 39168 Mar 27, 2007
Gwen Stefani
10 10
48.9
 
81 15 18.2 2 2 3 2 1
152 38791 Mar 15, 2006
Stevie Wonder
12 12
48.8
 
84 14 17.0 2 3 2 3 2
153 42439 Mar 10, 2016
The American Idol Songbook
8 12
48.8
 
85 16 16.1 3 1 4 3 1
154 38426 Mar 15, 2005
1960s
12 12
48.7
 
90 10 18.1 2 1 6 1 2
155 38440 Mar 29, 2005
1990s
10 10
48.6
 
83 12 18.4 1 3 2 3 1
156 40302 May 4, 2010
Frank Sinatra
5 5
48.4
 
71 22 18.6 0 2 1 2 0
157 39877 Mar 5, 2009
Billboard Hot 100
8 8
48.3
 
72 24 22.0 0 3 2 3 0
158 37733 Apr 22, 2003
Diane Warren Songs
6 6
48.0
 
73 14 14.3 1 1 2 2 0
159 38404 Feb 21, 2005
Open
12 12
48.0
 
84 19 19.5 1 4 4 2 1
160 41367 Apr 3, 2013
Rock - No Ballads
7 10
48.0
 
71 13 18.5 1 3 2 4 0
161 38496 May 24, 2005
Finale
2 6
47.8
 
70 30 12.0 0 2 3 1 0
162 39140 Feb 27, 2007
Open
10 10
47.8
 
75 7 19.5 1 2 4 3 0
163 37460 Jul 23, 2002
1960s
8 8
47.8
 
89 10 15.1 2 0 4 0 2
164 37663 Feb 11, 2003
Open
8 8
47.8
 
81 8 16.4 2 2 1 1 2
165 40646 Apr 13, 2011
Songs From The Movies
8 8
47.8
 
71 15 22.3 1 1 4 2 0
166 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
167 38447 Apr 5, 2005
Classic Musicals
9 9
47.7
 
71 11 16.1 2 1 2 4 0
168 37712 Apr 1, 2003
Disco
8 8
47.5
 
77 9 17.9 2 1 2 3 0
169 38118 May 11, 2004
Disco
4 8
47.5
 
81 9 14.1 2 0 2 3 1
170 38419 Mar 8, 2005
Open
8 8
47.5
 
80 7 16.4 1 2 2 2 1
171 39546 Apr 8, 2008
Inspirational (Idol Gives Back)
8 8
47.5
 
79 21 22.6 0 3 2 3 0
172 38041 Feb 24, 2004
Open
8 8
47.4
 
92 10 17.6 1 1 4 1 1
173 39497 Feb 19, 2008
1960s
12 12
47.3
 
82 17 17.6 2 4 2 3 1
174 41339 Mar 6, 2013
Open
10 10
47.2
 
76 8 19.4 1 2 5 2 0
175 41703 Mar 5, 2014
Home
12 12
47.2
 
64 23 20.2 0 3 5 4 0
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