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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 39945 May 12, 2009
Judges' Choice / Idol's Choice
3 6
53.7
 
87 28 20.7 0 1 3 1 1
127 39952 May 19, 2009
Finale
2 6
56.7
 
90 24 17.8 0 2 1 1 2
128 40232 Feb 23, 2010
Billboard charts
12 12
43.3
 
79 7 18.5 3 2 2 5 0
129 40233 Feb 24, 2010
Billboard charts
12 12
36.8
 
84 3 19.0 3 4 3 1 1
130 40239 Mar 2, 2010
Billboard charts
10 10
43.4
 
70 15 20.4 1 3 3 3 0
131 40240 Mar 3, 2010
Billboard charts
10 10
53.0
 
90 6 16.4 1 3 2 2 2
132 40246 Mar 9, 2010
Billboard charts
8 8
51.8
 
90 14 13.3 1 2 2 2 1
133 40247 Mar 10, 2010
Billboard charts
8 8
49.5
 
80 21 23.3 0 2 3 2 1
134 40253 Mar 16, 2010
Rolling Stones
12 12
52.3
 
88 19 19.6 1 2 5 2 2
135 40260 Mar 23, 2010
Billboard #1 Hits
11 11
41.0
 
85 2 16.0 3 1 5 1 1
136 40267 Mar 30, 2010
Soul / R&B
10 10
54.5
 
89 19 16.0 1 2 2 3 2
137 40274 Apr 6, 2010
Lennon-McCartney
9 9
60.1
 
89 33 19.2 0 2 3 2 2
138 40281 Apr 13, 2010
Elvis Presley
9 9
53.3
 
81 14 19.1 1 0 5 2 1
139 40288 Apr 20, 2010
Inspirational (Idol Gives Back)
7 7
52.0
 
88 31 20.9 0 3 1 2 1
140 40295 Apr 27, 2010
Shania Twain
6 6
51.2
 
77 40 25.0 0 0 5 1 0
141 40302 May 4, 2010
Frank Sinatra
5 5
48.4
 
71 22 18.6 0 2 1 2 0
142 40309 May 11, 2010
Songs From the Movies
4 6
51.5
 
77 21 21.3 0 2 1 3 0
143 40316 May 18, 2010
Judges' Choice / Idols' Choice
3 6
53.7
 
77 19 19.7 1 1 1 3 0
144 40323 May 25, 2010
Finale
2 6
57.0
 
89 26 18.8 0 1 3 1 1
145 40603 Mar 1, 2011
Open
12 12
50.9
 
90 5 16.7 1 4 2 2 3
146 40604 Mar 2, 2011
Open
12 12
53.2
 
93 9 17.3 2 1 4 3 2
147 40605 Mar 3, 2011
Open
6 6
55.8
 
82 26 18.3 0 2 1 2 1
148 40611 Mar 9, 2011
Personal Idol
13 13
51.6
 
84 24 20.3 0 3 6 3 1
149 40618 Mar 16, 2011
Year You Were Born
12 12
45.9
 
78 14 19.7 1 5 2 4 0
150 40625 Mar 23, 2011
Motown
11 11
56.8
 
84 29 22.3 0 2 4 4 1
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