Ben wins live final of Superstar
The climax of ITV1's Superstar pulled in only half the audience which the finals of Andrew Lloyd Webber's previous BBC shows attracted.
Overnight viewing figures show an average of 3.3 million were watching the 75-minute show as Ben Forster was chosen to play the son of God in an arena tour of musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
However, the viewing figures were an improvement on many editions of the talent show which has dipped below three million during the series.
It contrasts with the finals for the musical maestro's previous star searches. The final of his I'd Do Anything show on BBC1 pulled in 7.2 million, Any Dream Will Do landed an average of 6.5 million and Over The Rainbow had 6 million.
The composer switched to ITV earlier this year.
During the hour in which they overlapped last night BBC One's Olympic rowing drama Bert and Dickie had an average audience of 3.3 million to Superstar's 3.1 million.
Ben, a 31-year-old stage school graduate, will join the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar for an arena tour after winning the public vote last night. He pipped Rory Taylor, 24, to claim the role, with former male model Roger Wright, 41, coming third.
Ben, from Sunderland, has already appeared in a West End production. The tearful winner said of his triumph: "I can't believe it, I wasn't expecting this to happen in my lifetime."
The musical goes on tour in September, featuring comic Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod and Melanie C as Mary Magdalene.
Lloyd Webber - who co-wrote the hit show with Tim Rice - was on the judging panel with ex-Spice Girl Mel C, Jason Donovan and Dawn French.