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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 41333 Feb 28, 2013
Open
10 10
44.3
 
78 16 20.7 1 3 5 1 0
127 42075 Mar 12, 2015
Get The Party Started
12 12
46.8
 
89 16 19.3 2 4 2 3 1
128 42439 Mar 10, 2016
The American Idol Songbook
8 12
48.8
 
85 16 16.1 3 1 4 3 1
129 37432 Jun 25, 2002
Open
10 10
41.0
 
84 15 17.4 3 2 2 2 1
130 37481 Aug 13, 2002
Burt Bacharach Love Songs
5 5
53.6
 
92 15 20.4 1 0 2 1 1
131 37740 Apr 29, 2003
1960s / Neil Sedaka
5 10
60.6
 
93 15 15.2 1 1 3 2 3
132 38839 May 2, 2006
Year Born / Billboard Top 10
5 10
52.8
 
81 15 19.5 1 2 3 3 1
133 39168 Mar 27, 2007
Gwen Stefani
10 10
48.9
 
81 15 18.2 2 2 3 2 1
134 39203 May 1, 2007
Bon Jovi
6 6
63.0
 
86 15 18.0 1 0 1 2 2
135 39910 Apr 7, 2009
Year You Were Born
8 8
53.6
 
94 15 16.8 1 1 3 1 2
136 39917 Apr 14, 2009
Songs From The Cinema
7 7
45.7
 
69 15 20.4 1 2 1 3 0
137 40239 Mar 2, 2010
Billboard charts
10 10
43.4
 
70 15 20.4 1 3 3 3 0
138 40646 Apr 13, 2011
Songs From The Movies
8 8
47.8
 
71 15 22.3 1 1 4 2 0
139 41710 Mar 12, 2014
Songs from the Cinema
11 11
55.2
 
90 15 16.7 2 1 2 4 2
140 41745 Apr 16, 2014
Competitors' Picks
7 10
58.0
 
90 15 19.3 1 1 2 5 1
141 42067 Mar 4, 2015
Motown
8 8
45.8
 
66 15 17.0 2 1 3 2 0
142 42116 Apr 22, 2015
Arena Anthems
6 12
49.6
 
88 15 20.9 1 3 4 3 1
143 42425 Feb 25, 2016
Songs From the Idol Era
10 10
51.8
 
88 15 14.7 1 2 2 3 2
144 37733 Apr 22, 2003
Diane Warren Songs
6 6
48.0
 
73 14 14.3 1 1 2 2 0
145 38791 Mar 15, 2006
Stevie Wonder
12 12
48.8
 
84 14 17.0 2 3 2 3 2
146 39897 Mar 25, 2009
Motown
10 10
52.0
 
87 14 17.2 2 1 3 2 2
147 40246 Mar 9, 2010
Billboard charts
8 8
51.8
 
90 14 13.3 1 2 2 2 1
148 40281 Apr 13, 2010
Elvis Presley
9 9
53.3
 
81 14 19.1 1 0 5 2 1
149 40618 Mar 16, 2011
Year You Were Born
12 12
45.9
 
78 14 19.7 1 5 2 4 0
150 41697 Feb 27, 2014
This Is Me
13 13
52.2
 
84 14 16.6 1 3 3 4 2
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