Although ratings slipped all season, viewers returned for the finale of American Idol 7, which actually beat last year’s finale by about 1 million viewers.
Overall, 31.66 million people watched, compared to 30.7 million viewers for season six’s finale. Among viewers 18 to 49, Wednesday’s episode had ratings “a tick below last season’s, while this year’s overall audience rose a bit (from 30.73 million),” Variety reports. And teenagers ages 12 to 17 increased by 12 percent compared to last year.
And at the very end, when loyal viewers were freaking out that their DVRs stopped because the producers and/or people at Fox are assholes (so much for that fake apology last year), there were “more than 40 million [viewers] in the final six minutes,” Variety says, a big change from the 25 million who watched the first hour.
On Tuesday, 27.06 million viewers watched the judges proclaim David Archuleta the winner, and that represented “the best Tuesday scores for ‘Idol’ since March” and “one of the few times this season that the show outdelivered its number for the corresponding night a year ago,” according to Variety.
While the Wednesday episode was the second-highest-rated this season, the highest-rated was the very first episode, meaning some viewers tuned in, tuned out, and then came back for six final minutes. They may be the smartest people of all.