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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)

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# Date Episode / Theme #Cn #Pf Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
101 37502 Sep 3, 2002
Finale
2 6
60.7
 
74 41 17.2 0 0 2 4 0
102 37712 Apr 1, 2003
Disco
8 8
47.5
 
77 9 17.9 2 1 2 3 0
103 37733 Apr 22, 2003
Diane Warren Songs
6 6
48.0
 
73 14 14.3 1 1 2 2 0
104 38097 Apr 20, 2004
Barry Manilow
7 7
52.3
 
78 18 21.0 1 1 3 2 0
105 38104 Apr 27, 2004
Gloria Estefan
6 6
43.3
 
72 8 16.5 1 3 0 2 0
106 38447 Apr 5, 2005
Classic Musicals
9 9
47.7
 
71 11 16.1 2 1 2 4 0
107 38496 May 24, 2005
Finale
2 6
47.8
 
70 30 12.0 0 2 3 1 0
108 38805 Mar 29, 2006
2000s
10 10
40.9
 
72 9 20.3 2 2 4 2 0
109 38811 Apr 4, 2006
Country
9 9
46.9
 
71 17 22.0 1 1 4 3 0
110 38818 Apr 11, 2006
Queen
8 8
50.0
 
68 12 23.4 1 1 3 3 0
111 38860 May 23, 2006
Finale
2 6
49.8
 
77 13 12.5 1 1 2 2 0
112 39182 Apr 10, 2007
Latin
8 8
42.3
 
73 17 19.8 1 3 3 1 0
113 39210 May 8, 2007
Bee Gees
4 8
41.8
 
77 19 21.6 1 3 2 2 0
114 39224 May 22, 2007
Finale
2 6
52.3
 
77 20 19.3 0 2 1 3 0
115 39525 Mar 18, 2008
Beatles
11 11
46.9
 
72 16 20.2 1 3 3 4 0
116 39546 Apr 8, 2008
Inspirational (Idol Gives Back)
8 8
47.5
 
79 21 22.6 0 3 2 3 0
117 39553 Apr 15, 2008
Mariah Carey
7 7
50.0
 
76 28 23.3 0 2 4 1 0
118 39567 Apr 29, 2008
Neil Diamond
5 10
43.1
 
77 10 20.1 2 2 3 3 0
119 39574 May 6, 2008
Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
4 8
46.5
 
71 9 20.1 2 0 4 2 0
120 39917 Apr 14, 2009
Songs From The Cinema
7 7
45.7
 
69 15 20.4 1 2 1 3 0
121 39931 Apr 28, 2009
Rat Pack Standards
5 5
62.8
 
76 43 22.4 0 0 2 3 0
122 40295 Apr 27, 2010
Shania Twain
6 6
51.2
 
77 40 25.0 0 0 5 1 0
123 40302 May 4, 2010
Frank Sinatra
5 5
48.4
 
71 22 18.6 0 2 1 2 0
124 40309 May 11, 2010
Songs From the Movies
4 6
51.5
 
77 21 21.3 0 2 1 3 0
125 40316 May 18, 2010
Judges' Choice / Idols' Choice
3 6
53.7
 
77 19 19.7 1 1 1 3 0
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