BBC One's dance competition pulled in 9.76m (38.3%) between 7.30pm and 8pm, as Edwina Curry became the first celebrity eliminated from the new series.
The X Factor averaged 11.54m (41.1%) for ITV1 from 8pm, peaking at a healthy 12.36m (43%) for the last 15 minutes as the first acts dropped by the judges were revealed.
A further 330k (1.2%) watched The X Factor on ITV1+1, and spinoff show The Xtra Factor attracted 1.24m (4.7%) to ITV2 from 9pm and 142k (0.9%) on +1.
Series three of The Only Way Is Essex continued with 1.22m (7.7%) on ITV2 from 10.15pm, up by around 240k week-on-week. A further 127k (1.5%) watched the show on ITV2+1.
Back on ITV1, quiz show Holding Out For a Hero continued with 2.29m (9.4%) from 6.45pm and Downton Abbey delighted 8.77m (33.1%) from 9pm and 414k (2.5%) on timeshift. The Adrian Chiles-fronted That Sunday Night Show fetched 2.08m (12.4%) on ITV1 from 10.15pm.
Songs of Praise found the right tune on BBC One with 2.77m (16.5%) from 5.30pm, Countryfile nabbed 7.15m (33.1%) from 6.30pm and Antiques Roadshow took 5.85m (20.8%) from 8pm. Spooks thrilled 4.47m (16.5%) from 9pm and U2: From the Sky Down was seen by 810k (7.2%) from 10.30pm.
Channel 5's Warship sailed away with 336k (1.3%) in the 8pm slot, before Big Brother appealed to 1.25m (4.6%) in the 10pm hour. A screening of Rush Hour took 931k (7%) from 10pm.
A repeat of Top Gear revved up 1.34m (5.5%) on BBC Two in the 7pm hour, before City Beneath the Waves: Pavlopetri mustered 1.79m (6.4%) from 8pm. Fry's Planet Word enchanted 1.51m (5.6%) from 9pm, and a showing of Milk appealed to 340k (2.5%) from 10pm.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen took 2.11m (8.7%) from 6pm and 491k (1.8%) on +1. Fighting on The Frontlines educated 860k (3.7%) in the 9pm hour and 156k (0.6%) on timeshift. Gruesome musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street enchanted 620k (4.8%) from 10pm.
Overall, ITV1 dominated primetime with 26.9% (+1: 0.9%) against BBC One's 22.8%. Channel 4 came in third with 6.1% (+1: 1.1%), followed by BBC Two's 5.2% and Channel 5's 3.1%.
On the multi-channels, Strike Back: Project Dawn continued with 471k (1.7%) on Sky1 in the 9pm hour, while a double bill of Live At The Apollo amused 463k (1.7%) and 530k (2%) on BBC Three.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional