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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
101 39924 Apr 21, 2009
Disco
7 7
57.6
 
86 27 18.6 0 1 3 2 1
102 39931 Apr 28, 2009
Rat Pack Standards
5 5
62.8
 
76 43 22.4 0 0 2 3 0
103 39945 May 12, 2009
Judges' Choice / Idol's Choice
3 6
53.7
 
87 28 20.7 0 1 3 1 1
104 39952 May 19, 2009
Finale
2 6
56.7
 
90 24 17.8 0 2 1 1 2
105 40274 Apr 6, 2010
Lennon-McCartney
9 9
60.1
 
89 33 19.2 0 2 3 2 2
106 40288 Apr 20, 2010
Inspirational (Idol Gives Back)
7 7
52.0
 
88 31 20.9 0 3 1 2 1
107 40295 Apr 27, 2010
Shania Twain
6 6
51.2
 
77 40 25.0 0 0 5 1 0
108 40302 May 4, 2010
Frank Sinatra
5 5
48.4
 
71 22 18.6 0 2 1 2 0
109 40309 May 11, 2010
Songs From the Movies
4 6
51.5
 
77 21 21.3 0 2 1 3 0
110 40323 May 25, 2010
Finale
2 6
57.0
 
89 26 18.8 0 1 3 1 1
111 40611 Mar 9, 2011
Personal Idol
13 13
51.6
 
84 24 20.3 0 3 6 3 1
112 40625 Mar 23, 2011
Motown
11 11
56.8
 
84 29 22.3 0 2 4 4 1
113 40632 Mar 30, 2011
Elton John
11 11
56.0
 
81 21 21.4 0 2 4 4 1
114 40639 Apr 6, 2011
Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
9 9
60.8
 
86 33 20.9 0 1 3 4 1
115 40653 Apr 20, 2011
21st Century
7 7
51.6
 
77 27 22.1 0 3 1 3 0
116 40660 Apr 27, 2011
Carole King
6 9
55.4
 
92 23 20.7 0 3 2 1 3
117 40674 May 11, 2011
Inspirational Songs / Lieber & Stoller
4 8
58.0
 
85 34 20.5 0 2 2 3 1
118 40681 May 18, 2011
Idols' / Jimmy's / Judges' Choice
3 9
53.2
 
85 30 21.7 0 4 2 2 1
119 40687 May 24, 2011
Finale
2 6
51.3
 
74 25 20.5 0 2 2 2 0
120 40975 Mar 7, 2012
Stevie Wonder / Whitney Houston
13 13
55.8
 
92 20 16.8 0 4 3 4 2
121 40989 Mar 21, 2012
Billy Joel
10 10
56.8
 
87 24 18.9 0 2 3 4 1
122 40996 Mar 28, 2012
Personal Idol
9 9
64.7
 
93 45 19.9 0 0 4 3 2
123 41003 Apr 4, 2012
1980s
8 12
54.3
 
78 32 20.8 0 2 5 5 0
124 41010 Apr 11, 2012
2010s
7 10
59.9
 
79 28 20.4 0 1 3 6 0
125 41017 Apr 18, 2012
Now and Then
7 14
53.9
 
82 27 23.1 0 4 5 3 2
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