With a share of 44.3%, it paled when compared to Matt Cardle's victory last year, which took 17.16m and 55%. An additional 230k (0.9%) saw last night's results show on +1.
The Cube aired just before with 3.16m (12.3%) from 6.30pm (+1: 176k/0.7%), while Text Santa delivered 3.89m (16.3%) from 9.30pm (+1: 111k/0.8%).
BBC One's primetime programming started with Strictly Come Dancing, which drew in 10.9m (40%) from 7pm.
Antiques Roadshow (6.05m/21%) and Inspector George Gently (3.89m/13.8%) followed, while Match of the Day 2 pitched in 2.55m (16.4%) from 10.30pm.
BBC Two began with The Party's Over: How the West Went Bust (1.12m/4%) in the 7pm hour before live snooker coverage took over, averaging 1.88m (7.2%).
Japan Tsunami: Caught on Camera was watched by 1.84m (6.2%) on Channel 4 from 8.15pm (+1: 401k/1.6%). Black Mirror grabbed 1.1m (4.8%) from 9.30pm (+1: 106k/0.8%).
Channel 5 showed Kevin Costner movie Wyatt Earp from 5.55pm, which riled up 1.04m (3.8%). Comedy Superbad, starring Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Emma Stone, entertained 677k (3.7%) from 9.30pm.
Overall, ITV1 won the night with a share of 31.2% (+1: 0.7%) ahead of BBC One (20.1%). BBC Two finished with 6.3%, Channel 4 with 5.8% (+1: 1.2%) and Channel 5 with 3.5%.
On the multichannels, 1.45m (6.2%) caught The Xtra Factor from 9.30pm on ITV2 and Misfits attracted 604k (3%) from 10pm on E4.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional