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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
126 39133 Feb 20, 2007
Open
12 12
39.3
 
79 12 18.3 3 5 1 3 0
127 39168 Mar 27, 2007
Gwen Stefani
10 10
48.9
 
81 15 18.2 2 2 3 2 1
128 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
129 39938 May 5, 2009
Rock
4 6
54.3
 
88 7 18.2 1 1 1 1 2
130 37425 Jun 18, 2002
Open
10 10
41.4
 
86 9 18.1 3 1 4 1 1
131 37439 Jul 2, 2002
Open
10 10
36.8
 
60 20 18.1 0 5 4 1 0
132 38426 Mar 15, 2005
1960s
12 12
48.7
 
90 10 18.1 2 1 6 1 2
133 39161 Mar 20, 2007
British Invasion
11 11
52.1
 
86 23 18.0 0 4 3 2 2
134 39203 May 1, 2007
Bon Jovi
6 6
63.0
 
86 15 18.0 1 0 1 2 2
135 40969 Mar 1, 2012
Open
6 6
44.5
 
77 18 18.0 2 0 2 2 0
136 42060 Feb 25, 2015
Open
12 12
47.0
 
85 10 18.0 2 3 2 4 1
137 37691 Mar 11, 2003
Motown
12 12
51.3
 
82 29 17.9 0 4 4 2 2
138 38798 Mar 22, 2006
1950s
11 11
56.9
 
90 23 17.9 0 3 3 4 1
139 39504 Feb 26, 2008
1970s
10 10
51.4
 
93 19 17.9 1 3 2 2 2
140 41353 Mar 20, 2013
The Beatles
9 9
53.3
 
78 13 17.9 1 1 3 4 0
141 37712 Apr 1, 2003
Disco
8 8
47.5
 
77 9 17.9 2 1 2 3 0
142 39952 May 19, 2009
Finale
2 6
56.7
 
90 24 17.8 0 2 1 1 2
143 42074 Mar 11, 2015
Audition Songs
12 12
53.3
 
80 4 17.8 1 2 3 5 1
144 37754 May 13, 2003
Random / Judge's / Idol's
3 9
54.4
 
88 16 17.7 1 0 4 3 1
145 41752 Apr 23, 2014
Country / Rock
6 12
52.4
 
82 10 17.7 1 3 3 4 1
146 41773 May 14, 2014
Randy's / Judges' / Hometown Choice
3 9
51.4
 
86 17 17.7 1 3 2 1 2
147 38041 Feb 24, 2004
Open
8 8
47.4
 
92 10 17.6 1 1 4 1 1
148 38418 Mar 7, 2005
Open
8 8
50.4
 
85 16 17.6 1 2 3 1 1
149 39497 Feb 19, 2008
1960s
12 12
47.3
 
82 17 17.6 2 4 2 3 1
150 41766 May 7, 2014
Breakups and Makeups
4 12
57.8
 
93 25 17.6 0 3 3 3 3
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