The fifth live show of series eight, which saw Ann Widdecombe dragged across the floor by partner Anton Du Beke, averaged 10.06m (42.6%) on BBC One and 303k (1.2%) on BBC HD from 6.30pm until 8pm.
Strictly recorded a combined peak of 11.65m (46.8%) between 7.30pm and 7.45pm. In the equivalent week last year, the reality show hit a low of 8.43m (36.6%).
Later, the third series of Merlin scored another high of 5.84m (22.8%) for 'The Eye of the Phoenix' at 8pm, despite airing against The X Factor which performed solidly with a total of 12.22m (47.1%).
The competition's Halloween Week appealed to 11.55m (44.5%) on ITV1 and 672k (2.6%) on HD, managing a combined peak of 12.7m (49.4%) between 8.45pm and 9pm for Matt Cardle's rendition of 'Bleeding Love'.
Pre-X Factor, All Star Family Fortunes, You've Been Framed and Harry Hill's TV Burp all climbed to 3.45m (15.9%), 4.12m (17.3%) and 5.23m (20.8%) at 6.15pm, 7pm and 7.30pm on ITV1 and ITV1 HD.
Rod Stewart's turn on Piers Morgan's Life Stories attracted 5.15m (24.1%) from 9pm, while Casualty and Armstrong & Miller grabbed 4.17m (15.9%) and 3.49m (15.7%) for BBC One.
Elsewhere last night, Apocalypse: The Second World War and The Pillars of the Earth logged 1.35m (5.2%) and 1.36m (5.4%) until 10pm, before a film screening of The Brave One held 1.1m (6.6%) until just after midnight.
Channel 5's imported dramas The Mentalist, NCIS and CSI brought in respective audiences of 473k (1.8%), 836k (3.2%) and 1.26m (5.8%), while BBC Two had just 567k (2.2%), 1.76m (6.7%) and 1.35m (6.3%) for Renaissance Revolution, Have I Got A Bit More News For You and The Making of Elton John.
Overall, ITV1 reigned in primetime with a share of 32% (HD: 1.7%) to BBC One's 24.7%). Channel 4 claimed third place with 4.6% (+1: 0.6%), BBC Two followed with 4.7% and Five was last with 3.5%.
Following last week's dismal audience of 293k (1.3%), The Xtra Factor bounced back to 917k (4.4%) to lead the multichannel ratings for ITV2.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional