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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 41717 Mar 19, 2014
Billboard Top 10
10 10
47.7
 
80 18 18.2 1 2 5 1 1
127 41745 Apr 16, 2014
Competitors' Picks
7 10
58.0
 
90 15 19.3 1 1 2 5 1
128 41752 Apr 23, 2014
Country / Rock
6 12
52.4
 
82 10 17.7 1 3 3 4 1
129 41773 May 14, 2014
Randy's / Judges' / Hometown Choice
3 9
51.4
 
86 17 17.7 1 3 2 1 2
130 42068 Mar 5, 2015
Motown
8 8
46.0
 
82 7 19.4 1 2 3 1 1
131 42074 Mar 11, 2015
Audition Songs
12 12
53.3
 
80 4 17.8 1 2 3 5 1
132 42088 Mar 25, 2015
1980s
9 9
46.3
 
79 13 16.9 1 3 1 4 0
133 42116 Apr 22, 2015
Arena Anthems
6 12
49.6
 
88 15 20.9 1 3 4 3 1
134 42130 May 6, 2015
Scott's / Judges' / Hometown Choice
4 12
56.8
 
86 19 19.1 1 2 3 5 1
135 42136 May 12, 2015
Finale
2 6
60.5
 
87 18 19.8 1 0 1 3 1
136 42424 Feb 24, 2016
Favorite Performance
10 10
42.2
 
79 14 18.2 1 5 1 3 0
137 42425 Feb 25, 2016
Songs From the Idol Era
10 10
51.8
 
88 15 14.7 1 2 2 3 2
138 42460 Mar 31, 2016
Hometown / Scott's / Judges' Choice
4 10
57.1
 
89 17 18.0 1 1 3 3 2
139 37439 Jul 2, 2002
Open
10 10
36.8
 
60 20 18.1 0 5 4 1 0
140 37446 Jul 9, 2002
Open
5 5
49.0
 
65 31 20.2 0 1 2 2 0
141 37467 Jul 30, 2002
1970s
7 7
50.4
 
76 29 19.1 0 3 1 3 0
142 37474 Aug 6, 2002
Big Band
6 6
64.5
 
95 36 14.5 0 1 2 1 2
143 37495 Aug 27, 2002
Idol's Choice / Judge's Choice
3 6
58.8
 
82 36 23.3 0 1 3 1 1
144 37502 Sep 3, 2002
Finale
2 6
60.7
 
74 41 17.2 0 0 2 4 0
145 37670 Feb 18, 2003
Open
8 8
45.5
 
74 25 22.9 0 3 4 1 0
146 37691 Mar 11, 2003
Motown
12 12
51.3
 
82 29 17.9 0 4 4 2 2
147 37705 Mar 25, 2003
Country Rock
10 10
46.7
 
80 28 22.7 0 5 3 1 1
148 37747 May 6, 2003
Bee Gees Songs
4 8
53.4
 
87 20 18.3 0 2 3 2 1
149 37761 May 20, 2003
Finale
2 6
54.0
 
86 39 15.8 0 2 3 0 1
150 38027 Feb 10, 2004
Open
8 8
50.9
 
84 25 21.5 0 4 1 2 1
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