The first episode of The X Factor's boot camp shows drew 9.05m (36.6%) for ITV1 between 8pm and 9.15pm.
Strictly, meanwhile, pulled in an average of 7.91m (33.2%) between 7.25pm and 9.05pm.
The BBC show improved by 200k week-on-week, while The X Factor was down by the same amount.
Before Strictly, the second episode in the new run of Merlin delivered 5.07m (27.2%). It followed on from Hole in the Wall, which had a slot-winning 3.6m (22.6%).
Later, the latest Lottery draw was seen by 6.19m (27.5%) and a new episode of Casualty logged 5.26m (24.2%).
On ITV1, the penultimate episode of The Cube put in 4.62m (22.4%) at 7pm. Post-X Factor, When Piers Met Sir Cliff had a decent 4.64m (21.3%).
BBC Two's rerun of Lost Land Of The Volcano interested 950k (3.9%) over an hour from 8.05pm, after which A Farewell To Floyd - a tribute to the late chef - brought in 1.53m (6.8%).
Channel 4's screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers averaged 1.55m (6.8%) between 7pm and 10.20pm.
On Five, a double-bill of NCIS picked up 925k (4.3%) and 969k (3.9%) from 7.10pm. CSI: NY took 1.13m (5.1%) at 9.05pm, then CSI and Law & Order: SVU logged respective audiences of 1.31m (7.3%) and 828k (7%).
Overall, BBC One led primetime with an average share of 29.8% to ITV1's 25.3%. Channel 4 was third with 6.3% (+1: 1%), followed by BBC Two with 6.6% and Five with 4.9%.
The top multichannel audience of the day was for ITV2's The Xtra Factor, with 993k (5%) from 9.15pm and 128k (0.8%) on timeshift.
Film4's screening of Ghost - starring the late Patrick Swayze - was also popular, drawing 427k (2.4%) from 9pm.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional