The culmination of the judges' houses phase of the competition was seen by 12.38m (44.9%) in the 8pm hour. The figure represents an increase of over 2m night-on-night and is up almost 3m on the equivalent episode from last year's run.
Last night the audience peaked with 13.86m (47.7%) at 8.50pm.
At 9pm, the third episode in the new series of Doc Martin pulled in 8.15m (31.6%), a week-on-week growth of around 1m.
BBC One's Antiques Roadshow mustered a not-unreasonable 5.16m (18.7%) opposite The X Factor at 8pm, then an hour later, a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma opened to 4.38m (17%).
Stephen Fry's Last Chance To See, this week featuring a flightless parrot from New Zealand, had 2.15m (7.8%) for BBC Two at 8pm, then Charley Boorman: Sydney To Tokyo By Any Means appealed to 1.92m (7.5%). Match of the Day 2 followed with 2.81m (17.4%) between 10pm and 11.10pm.
Come Dine With Me brought in 1.41m (5.1%) to Channel 4 at 8pm, with a further 473k (1.9%) on timeshift, then Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour was seen by 1.08m (4.2%).
Overall, ITV1 averaged 29.7% in primetime, while BBC One lagged with 19.1%. BBC Two was third with 9.1%, followed by Five with 6.3% and Channel 4 with 4.5% (+1: 0.9%).
The latest episode of The Xtra Factor put in 1.18m (4.9%) for ITV2 in the 9pm hour, with 114k (0.7%) on timeshift, then the third episode of Trinity managed 508k (3.2%).
Sky1's premiere of the new season of House logged 723k (3%) at 9pm, a growth of around 175k on last week's season five finale. The second season premiere of Fringe followed at 10pm with 431k (2.7%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional