The Tracy Beaker actress suggested that viewers have defected from the Simon Cowell contest to Strictly because "we've got brilliant people on the programme" and are "true to what we are".
Speaking to Digital Spy, Harmer stated: "I think X Factor's kind of gone in a different direction. It feels a bit more staged, whereas we're true to what we are on Strictly.
"We know that it's camp and it's shiny and glittery, and I think people like to watch that on a Saturday night because of all the crap that's going on in the world now, recession and all that rubbish."
She continued: "It's nice to watch something that takes you to a different world almost. And there's no kind of sob stories or anything like that, it is what it is. We're just going out there and trying to dance and making idiots out of ourselves sometimes."
Asked if she was upset with Strictly judge Darcey Bussell for describing her as a "moody teenager" after her dance this week, Harmer replied: "I kind of knew that comment was going to come because I do look like a 10-year-old, but I was really trying to be mature.
"Never mind, I guess Tracy Beaker just made a little bit of an appearance in my dance for a bit. But, hey, it was aggressive, passionate, maybe a little moody, but that's fine, that's what the dance is about."
She continued: "People either think I'm a lot younger than I am because of the character I played, or they seem to think I'm 30 because I've been on telly so long. I am 23 and I think people are slowly starting to realise that now."
Harmer added that current top performer Denise Van Outen "deserves" to win Strictly Come Dancing - but that won't stop her from trying to snatch the title.
"I'm scared of everyone right now because everyone is doing such a great job," she admitted. "Denise is amazing, she's top of the leader board every week, she's obviously the one to beat, I'd be stupid if I didn't say that.
"She's so talented she deserves to be at the top anyway, so I guess we've all got to try and get Denise off that top."
Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday, November 17 at 6.30pm on BBC One.