The final results show - which saw Kara Tointon crowned champion - averaged 13.08m (47.6%) between 9pm and 10pm, up 27% year-on-year, and peaked with 14.1m (51.7%) as the winner was announced.
Earlier in the 7pm hour, the last performances of the ballroom dancing show's eighth series attracted 12.97m (45.8%), and a hefty peak audience of 14.47m (50.7%) at 7.55pm.
Elsewhere on BBC One, Total Wipeout entertained 5.51m (24.1%) at 5.30pm, The Impressions Show amused 5.65m (23%) at 6.30pm, and the Strictly effect also boosted the National Lottery Draws and the BBC News to 8.94m (33.6%) and 9.43m (38.4%) respectively.
Meanwhile, Paddy McGuinness gameshow Take Me Out won ITV1's best audience of the night at 8pm, albeit with 4.84m (18%), 1.2m down week-on-week. Bridget Jones's Diary followed with just 2.11m (8.6%) from 9pm, and before that, Channel 4-esque countdown show Family Film of the Decade nabbed 3.11m (13.1%) at 6pm, before a celebrity special of The Cube had 3.7m (13.2%) an hour later.
BBC Two was boosted by an evening lineup of classic comedy: Dad's Army mustered 3.16m (11.8%), after which Blackadder II took 2.83m (10.4%) at 8.30pm, Have I Got A Bit More News For You logged 2.01m (7.3%) at 9.15pm, and 2.05m (8.8%) watched QI XL at 10pm.
Kirstie And Phil's Perfect Christmas on Channel 4 appealed to only 1.21m (4.5%) and 651k (2.4%), then The Million Pound Drop Live gripped 1.71m (8.4%) at 10pm, while NCIS, CSI and CSI: NY delivered 1.24m (4.6%), 874k (3.2%) and 1.16m (5.4%) to Channel 5.
Overall, BBC One trounced ITV1 in primetime, with 37.4% to 12.6%. BBC Two was third with 8.9%, followed by Channel 4 with 4.3% (0.4%), and Channel 5 with 4%.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional