X Factor drops to 13.5 million viewers

'The X Factor' audience peaked at 13.5 million viewers last night, lower than last year's ratings, as the public vote was scrapped in a dramatic twist which led to the departure of Jonjo Kerr, Amelia Lily, 2 Shoes and James Michael.

The X Factor: drops to 13.5 million viewers
The X Factor: drops to 13.5 million viewers

The first live shows are usually followed by a public vote but this year the rules changed and instead the four judges, Kelly Rowland, Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh each chose one of their acts to send home.

According to unofficial overnight figures, last night ‘The X Factor’ had an average audience of 11.54 million on ITV1 and ITV1 HD between 8pm and 9pm, a 41.1% share. An additional average of 329,800 viewers watched the show on ITV1 +1.

The peak of 13.5 million rises to 13.9 million viewers if ITV +1 is included.

The audience was down on the equivalent show in last year’s series of ‘The X Factor’, which had an average audience of 13.1 million viewers and a peak audience of 14.5 million.

The 2010 figures include ITV1 and ITV1 HD but not ITV1 +1, which launched this year.

Read more comments and JWT research about X Factor 2011 here.

The fourth episode of the second series of ‘Downton Abbey’ had an average audience of 8.55 million last night, a 32.6% share at 9-10.15pm. An additional average of 40,300 viewers watched ‘Downton Abbey’ on ITV +1.

Although ITV is not known for its period drama, ‘Downton Abbey’ has been a success for the broadcaster and the average audience of last night’s episode was comparable to the average audience of 8.6 million for the fourth show in series one.

The results show of the BBC’s celebrity competition ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ had an average audience of 9.76 million on BBC One and BBC One HD between 7.30pm and 8pm last night, a 38.3% share of the audience.

On Saturday night ‘The X Factor’ had an average audience of 10.44 million on ITV1 and ITV1 HD between 7.30pm and 10pm, a 40.3% share of the audience. An additional 506,100 watched Saturday’s show on ITV1 +1.

The audience for Saturday night’s show peaked at 12.1 million on ITV1 and ITV1 HD. If the contribution of ITV1 +1 is included the peak audience was 12.7 million and a 49% share.

Saturday night’s ‘The X Factor’ was also down on the audience for the comparable first live show in the 2010 series when the average audience was 12.4 million viewers and the peak was 13.8 million.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ had an average audience of 8.68 million viewers, a 36.3% share, between 6pm and 8pm on BBC One and BBC One HD and beat ‘The X Factor between 7.30pm and 8pm.

On Saturday morning the game that ended England’s hopes in the Ruby World Cup peaked with 6.4 million viewers, a 53% share, at 10.15am. The quarter-final game ended England 12 France 19.

Follow Maisie McCabe on Twitter @MaisieMcCabe

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