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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 39910 Apr 7, 2009
Year You Were Born
8 8
53.6
 
94 15 16.8 1 1 3 1 2
127 39917 Apr 14, 2009
Songs From The Cinema
7 7
45.7
 
69 15 20.4 1 2 1 3 0
128 40239 Mar 2, 2010
Billboard charts
10 10
43.4
 
70 15 20.4 1 3 3 3 0
129 40646 Apr 13, 2011
Songs From The Movies
8 8
47.8
 
71 15 22.3 1 1 4 2 0
130 41710 Mar 12, 2014
Songs from the Cinema
11 11
55.2
 
90 15 16.7 2 1 2 4 2
131 41745 Apr 16, 2014
Competitors' Picks
7 10
58.0
 
90 15 19.3 1 1 2 5 1
132 42088 Mar 25, 2015
1980s
9 9
46.7
 
78 15 16.9 1 3 1 4 0
133 37733 Apr 22, 2003
Diane Warren Songs
6 6
48.0
 
73 14 14.3 1 1 2 2 0
134 38791 Mar 15, 2006
Stevie Wonder
12 12
48.8
 
84 14 17.0 2 3 2 3 2
135 39897 Mar 25, 2009
Motown
10 10
52.0
 
87 14 17.2 2 1 3 2 2
136 40246 Mar 9, 2010
Billboard charts
8 8
51.8
 
90 14 13.3 1 2 2 2 1
137 40281 Apr 13, 2010
Elvis Presley
9 9
53.3
 
81 14 19.1 1 0 5 2 1
138 40618 Mar 16, 2011
Year You Were Born
12 12
45.9
 
78 14 19.7 1 5 2 4 0
139 41697 Feb 27, 2014
This Is Me
13 13
52.2
 
84 14 16.6 1 3 3 4 2
140 38405 Feb 22, 2005
Open
12 12
46.7
 
87 13 18.8 1 5 2 2 2
141 38475 May 3, 2005
Lieber & Stoller / This Week
5 10
52.8
 
89 13 18.8 1 2 3 2 2
142 38860 May 23, 2006
Finale
2 6
49.8
 
77 13 12.5 1 1 2 2 0
143 39134 Feb 21, 2007
Open
12 12
52.3
 
88 13 15.2 2 4 0 3 3
144 39141 Feb 28, 2007
Open
10 10
50.6
 
92 13 14.8 2 2 2 3 1
145 41353 Mar 20, 2013
The Beatles
9 9
53.3
 
78 13 17.9 1 1 3 4 0
146 41367 Apr 3, 2013
Rock - No Ballads
7 10
48.0
 
71 13 18.5 1 3 2 4 0
147 38440 Mar 29, 2005
1990s
10 10
48.6
 
83 12 18.4 1 3 2 3 1
148 38783 Mar 7, 2006
Open
8 8
50.4
 
87 12 18.5 1 1 4 1 1
149 38818 Apr 11, 2006
Queen
8 8
50.0
 
68 12 23.4 1 1 3 3 0
150 39133 Feb 20, 2007
Open
12 12
39.3
 
79 12 18.3 3 5 1 3 0
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