Paloma Vivanco's tempestuous exit from the show averaged 7.3m (28.9%) for BBC One in the 9pm hour, up 1.26m week-on-week.
The programme managed to fend off live coverage of Chelsea's Champions League victory against Spartak Moscow, which pulled in 3.44m (14.4%) on ITV1 between 7.30pm and 10pm, while 253k (1.1%) watched in HD.
Earlier, The One Show grabbed 4.81m (22.2%) on BBC One from 7.30pm, before new series Wallace & Gromit's World Of Inventions debuted to 5.69m (25.7%).
Jimmy's Food Factory and Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers cooked up respective audiences of 4.41m (19.4%) and 4.38m (18.6%) on BBC One from 8pm. Later, Film 2010 With Claudia Winkleman entertained 1.34m (10.7%) from 10.45pm.
Channel 4's new series Animal House premiered to 1.16m (5%) from 8pm and 133k (0.5%) on Channel 4 +1. Grand Designs pulled in 2.59m (10.2%) in the 9pm hour and 34k (1.8%) on timeshift, before Rude Tube: Total Stunts amused 1.88m (10.2%) and 275k (2.9%) an hour later.
Over at BBC Two, Escape To The Country took 2.08m (9.5%) in the 7pm hour, before Natural World captivated 2.12m (9.2%). Horizon: Astroids - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly educated 1.49m (5.9%) in the 9pm hour.
After The Apprentice, spinoff show The Apprentice: You're Fired! pulled in 3.25m (15.8%) on BBC Two from 10pm.
Channel 5's Highland Emergency attracted 924k (4.2%) from 7.30pm. It was followed by Cowboy Builders, which brought in 1.33m (5.8%). NCIS and Law & Order: Criminal Intent then secured respective audiences of 1.28m (5.1%) and 1.28 (6.8%) from 10pm.
Overall, BBC One won primetime with 22.7% against ITV1's 15% (HD: 0.8%). BBC Two came in third with 8.8%, followed by Channel 4 with 7.2% (+1: 0.8%) and Channel 5 with 5%.
Elsewhere, the biggest multichannel audience of the night went to Peter Andre: The Next Chapter, which appealed to 789k (3.1%) on ITV2 from 9pm and 190k (1%) an hour later.
The programme was followed on ITV2 by reality show The Only Way Is Essex, which had 562k (2.7%) and 161k (1.5%) on timeshift.
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional