This week's show, which saw the top 11 finalists perform songs by Michael Jackson, averaged 9.28m (38.5%) between 7.25pm and 9.25pm. The audience built steadily over the two hours to a peak of 10.86m (45%) at 9pm. Last week the show managed 10.36m (44.1%) with a peak of 11.25m (48.5%).
BBC One switched the start times of Merlin and Strictly Come Dancing once again, to the detriment of the former.
Merlin, broadcast at the earlier time of 5.55pm, dropped to 5m (27.1%). Last week the show had pulled in 5.92m (25.6%) at 7.05pm.
Strictly, which followed at 6.40pm, averaged 8.56m (37.1%) over 90 minutes. The figure is up considerably on last week's 7.42m (34.6%).
In the 45 minutes that the two reality shows were directly head-to-head, Strictly was on top with an average of 8.65m (35.9%) to its rival's 8.42m (34.9%).
Before The X Factor, Totally You've Been Framed! had a decent 5.22m (27.4%) from 5.55pm. A new series of Harry Hill's TV Burp followed with a strong 6.16m (27.3%) in spite of a clash with Strictly.
When The X Factor's performances show came off the air, 5.68m (25.6%) remained to see Lucy Benjamin and Ryan Thomas competing in All Star Family Fortunes. 887,000 (4.5%) switched over to ITV2 for The Xtra Factor.
The X Factor results show, in which Girlband was voted off, drew 7.87m (39.7%) over 45 minutes from 10.10pm. ITV2's The Xtra Factor followed with 841,000 (6.8%) .
Overall, ITV1 maintained the lead in primetime with an average audience share of 34.9% (last week: 39.2%). BBC One improved to a more respectable 25.5% (18.7%).
On BBC Two, the latest Timewatch, focusing on the early life of Queen Victoria, interested a decent 2.17m (9%) from 8.10pm. An extended edition of Have I Got News For You notched up 2.05m (8.8%) at 9pm, then live coverage of the snooker Grand Prix put in 1.03m (5.4%) over 90 minutes.
Five had 802,000 (3.3%) and 1.13m (4.8%) for two episodes of NCIS from 7.55pm, then a CSI repeat scored 1.33m (6.4%). Law & Order: Criminal Intent closed the night with 1.03m (7.6%).
Channel 4's Time Team Special: Swords, Skulls and Strongholds drew just 791,000 (3.3%) in the 8pm hour. Romcom Failure To Launch, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey, brought in the channel's best audience of the day with an average of 1.05m (4.8%).
BBC Two's primetime share was 7% (7.4%) while Five put in 4.1% (4.6%). Channel 4 was down to just 3.9% (4.7%).
Ratings data supplied by Attentional