‘American Idol’ Penultimate Episode Scores Season High Ratings (EXCLUSIVE)

“American Idol” scored a win for ABC with this season’s penultimate episode, which aired May 14. The episode hit season highs in total viewers (7.9 million) and with a 1.2 rating among the Adults 18-49 demographic. The episode’s performance pushed the series to its strongest showing in a year according to Nielsen ratings, according to new numbers obtained by Variety.

According to the network, “Idol” jumped 3% for the third straight week in total viewers, climbing up the previous week’s 7.7 million total viewers, and also grew week-to-week by 9% among adults 18-49, from a 1.1 rating.

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Halle Bailey appeared in the May 14 episode, performing “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid” as part of “Disney Night.” In the episode, the Top 5 finalists Wé Ani, Zachariah Smith, Megan Danielle, Colin Stough, and Iam Tongi faced off against each other for the finalist positions. In the end, Ani and Smith were eliminated.

Fans were given a closer look at the final Season 21 contestants, Colin Stough, Iam Tongi and Megan Danielle, via their journeys from hometown to Hollywood in a follow up special. (Tongi was later crowned this season’s winner in the May 21 episode.) Live+7 day numbers for the finale won’t be released until next week, but according to live+same day data, the season finale is the show’s most-watched in three years among total viewers, recording an audience of 6.6 million.

“Idol” is ABC’s No. 1 series this season in both total viewers as well as adults 18-49 and ranks among the season’s top three unscripted series in both total viewers (third place) and adults 18-49 (tie for second place).

On social media, “Idol” raked in 24.7 million social interactions throughout the season this year, pushing it to a top spot in the primetime category online. After 35 days of viewing across linear and streaming platforms, “American idol” grew to 8.7 million total viewers.

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