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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 (Finals only)

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
26 38104 Apr 27, 2004
Gloria Estefan
6 6
43.3
 
72 8 16.5 1 3 0 2 0
27 38111 May 4, 2004
Big Band
5 10
53.5
 
91 24 20.3 0 2 5 1 2
28 38118 May 11, 2004
Disco
4 8
47.5
 
81 9 14.1 2 0 2 3 1
29 38125 May 18, 2004
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
55.4
 
84 23 14.6 0 3 2 1 3
30 38132 May 25, 2004
Finale
2 6
53.5
 
83 20 12.7 0 2 1 2 1
31 38426 Mar 15, 2005
1960s
12 12
48.7
 
90 10 18.1 2 1 6 1 2
32 38433 Mar 22, 2005
Billboard #1 Hits
11 11
52.9
 
89 7 19.8 1 1 5 3 1
33 38440 Mar 29, 2005
1990s
10 10
48.6
 
83 12 18.4 1 3 2 3 1
34 38447 Apr 5, 2005
Classic Musicals
9 9
47.7
 
71 11 16.1 2 1 2 4 0
35 38454 Apr 12, 2005
Year You Were Born
8 8
51.4
 
90 19 20.6 1 1 4 1 1
36 38461 Apr 19, 2005
1970s Dance Music
7 7
50.7
 
88 34 22.3 0 3 2 1 1
37 38468 Apr 26, 2005
2000s
6 6
49.5
 
82 17 19.3 1 1 2 1 1
38 38475 May 3, 2005
Lieber & Stoller / This Week
5 10
52.8
 
89 13 18.8 1 2 3 2 2
39 38482 May 10, 2005
Country / Gamble & Huff
4 8
55.6
 
80 25 20.1 0 2 1 4 1
40 38489 May 17, 2005
Idol's / Clive's / Judge's
3 9
58.1
 
94 33 16.0 0 1 5 1 2
41 38496 May 24, 2005
Finale
2 6
47.8
 
70 30 12.0 0 2 3 1 0
42 38791 Mar 15, 2006
Stevie Wonder
12 12
48.8
 
84 14 17.0 2 3 2 3 2
43 38798 Mar 22, 2006
1950s
11 11
56.9
 
90 23 17.9 0 3 3 4 1
44 38805 Mar 29, 2006
2000s
10 10
40.9
 
72 9 20.3 2 2 4 2 0
45 38811 Apr 4, 2006
Country
9 9
46.9
 
71 17 22.0 1 1 4 3 0
46 38818 Apr 11, 2006
Queen
8 8
50.0
 
68 12 23.4 1 1 3 3 0
47 38825 Apr 18, 2006
Great American Songbook
7 7
63.7
 
87 9 15.7 1 0 1 3 2
48 38832 Apr 25, 2006
Love Songs
6 6
51.5
 
88 5 15.8 1 1 2 1 1
49 38839 May 2, 2006
Year Born / Billboard Top 10
5 10
52.8
 
81 15 19.5 1 2 3 3 1
50 38846 May 9, 2006
Elvis Presley
4 8
53.3
 
86 21 20.6 0 3 1 2 2
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