The talent contest entertained 9.62m (40.3%) from 8pm, as well as a further 430k (1.9%) on +1. The Xtra Factor managed to top the multichannel ratings with 927k (4.4%) on ITV2, holding off competition from Bruce Almighty's 701k (3.7%) on BBC Three.
On BBC One, Strictly Come Dancing fell from last week's season high of more than 10m to 9.21m (42.1%). Later on in the evening, Merlin settled for 5.45m (22.9%) against The X Factor and Casualty nabbed 4.06m (17.1%).
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In figures sure to delight its colourful host, 4.3m (20.6%) watched an interview with Rolf Harris on Piers Morgan's Life Stories on ITV1, in addition to 264k (1.7%) on timeshift. Prior to The X Factor, Harry Hill's TV Burp nabbed 4.37m (19.4%) and 265k (1.1%) on +1.
Classic entertainment in the form of Dad's Army tickled 2.13m (8.9%) BBC Two viewers at 8pm, and 1.35m (5.7%) stayed for The Most Courageous Raid of WWII. QI XL then quizzed 1.75m (8.2%) from 9.30pm.
On Channel 4, Jamie's Great Britain garnered just 620k (2.6%) at 8pm, though it did add 101k (0.4%) on +1. A screening of Max Payne improved the viewer count to 900k (4.2%), as well as 213k (1.3%) an hour later.
Channel 5's NCIS had enough mystery and intrigue for 777k (3.3%), and Big Brother rumbled on with 917k (4.4%) at 9.40pm.
In a reversal of last week, ITV1 won the primetime battle with 28.1% as BBC One took 25% in second place. BBC Two, Channel 5 and Channel 4 followed with 6.3%, 3.6% and 3.3% respectively.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional