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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
126 40605 Mar 3, 2011
Open
6 6
55.8
 
82 26 18.3 0 2 1 2 1
127 37747 May 6, 2003
Bee Gees Songs
4 8
53.4
 
87 20 18.3 0 2 3 2 1
128 39133 Feb 20, 2007
Open
12 12
39.3
 
79 12 18.3 3 5 1 3 0
129 39168 Mar 27, 2007
Gwen Stefani
10 10
48.9
 
81 15 18.2 2 2 3 2 1
130 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
131 42424 Feb 24, 2016
Favorite Performance
10 10
42.2
 
79 14 18.2 1 5 1 3 0
132 39938 May 5, 2009
Rock
4 6
54.3
 
88 7 18.2 1 1 1 1 2
133 37425 Jun 18, 2002
Open
10 10
41.4
 
86 9 18.1 3 1 4 1 1
134 37439 Jul 2, 2002
Open
10 10
36.8
 
60 20 18.1 0 5 4 1 0
135 38426 Mar 15, 2005
1960s
12 12
48.7
 
90 10 18.1 2 1 6 1 2
136 39161 Mar 20, 2007
British Invasion
11 11
52.1
 
86 23 18.0 0 4 3 2 2
137 39203 May 1, 2007
Bon Jovi
6 6
63.0
 
86 15 18.0 1 0 1 2 2
138 40969 Mar 1, 2012
Open
6 6
44.5
 
77 18 18.0 2 0 2 2 0
139 42060 Feb 25, 2015
Open
12 12
47.0
 
85 10 18.0 2 3 2 4 1
140 42460 Mar 31, 2016
Hometown / Scott's / Judges' Choice
4 10
57.1
 
89 17 18.0 1 1 3 3 2
141 37691 Mar 11, 2003
Motown
12 12
51.3
 
82 29 17.9 0 4 4 2 2
142 38798 Mar 22, 2006
1950s
11 11
56.9
 
90 23 17.9 0 3 3 4 1
143 39504 Feb 26, 2008
1970s
10 10
51.4
 
93 19 17.9 1 3 2 2 2
144 41353 Mar 20, 2013
The Beatles
9 9
53.3
 
78 13 17.9 1 1 3 4 0
145 37712 Apr 1, 2003
Disco
8 8
47.5
 
77 9 17.9 2 1 2 3 0
146 39952 May 19, 2009
Finale
2 6
56.7
 
90 24 17.8 0 2 1 1 2
147 42074 Mar 11, 2015
Audition Songs
12 12
53.3
 
80 4 17.8 1 2 3 5 1
148 37754 May 13, 2003
Random / Judge's / Idol's
3 9
54.4
 
88 16 17.7 1 0 4 3 1
149 41752 Apr 23, 2014
Country / Rock
6 12
52.4
 
82 10 17.7 1 3 3 4 1
150 41773 May 14, 2014
Randy's / Judges' / Hometown Choice
3 9
51.4
 
86 17 17.7 1 3 2 1 2
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