Belfast Telegraph

Only seven million watched X Factor denouement as Strictly ratings soar

Sunday's X Factor attracted the show's lowest viewing figures yet for a series final.

Seven million viewers (a 20% share) watched as Matt Terry was crowned winner of this year's ITV show.

It was a drop of 1.4 million from 2015, when 8.4 million watched, despite a major overhaul by Simon Cowell.

This year's final peaked at 8.3 million viewers, compared to 9.9 million last year.

The ratings low comes after ITV signed a three-year deal for The X Factor, meaning the talent show will remain on screen until at least 2019.

The 2014 final - won by Louisa Johnson - had an average audience of 9.1 million viewers and peaked at around 10.5 million viewers.

Meanwhile, Strictly Come Dancing continued to beat the opposition.

The results show on BBC1 - in which Claudia Fragapane made her exit - was seen by a peak of 12.1 million viewers with an average of 11 million (43.7 share), making it the most watched show on TV.

The first instalment of The X Factor, in 2004, had 8.1 million viewers for its results show but the series went on to enjoy viewing figures of 17.2 million in 2010 when Matt Cardle was declared winner.

Steve Brookstein, the first winner, who was been embroiled in a public feud with Cowell, revelled in the bad news for the show, writing on Twitter: "X Factor ratings are at an all time low. #mondaymotivation".

The X Factor Final, which featured a performance from Kylie Minogue, was the most watched programme of the night for 16 to 34-year-olds, with a 37% share of the age group.

The final also included performances from 2011 X Factor champions Little Mix, and Madness, who are back with a new album.

The viewing figures came as it was revealed that Terry clinched the final with just 8% more votes than runner-up Saara Aalto.

The waiter scored 48.5% in Sunday night's final, while Finnish singer Aalto was just a little behind with 40.4%, according to figures released by ITV.

But on Saturday, on the vote freeze, Aalto was in the lead with 35.3%, compared with 33.4% for Terry, and 31.3% for 5 After Midnight.

Terry was ahead at the beginning - in the opening weeks of the live shows.

But the 23-year-old from Bromley started to slip in the middle, and in week eight Aalto was on top with 23.7%, followed by Emily Middlemas (22.6%) and Terry (21.2%).

Meanwhile, rapper Honey G, who now has a record deal with Simon Cowell's label Syco, was never going to win - peaking with just 12.2% of votes in week eight.

Terry told ITV show Lorraine why he appeared to collapse on stage when his name was announced on Sunday night, saying his legs went "right under me".

He said he had just "a couple of hours' sleep" after his win and admitted: "I've got to stop crying."

But Terry said he would not be getting star treatment at home despite his win.

"I've got next week to be with my family ... My little brother is moving back home so I'm going to be sleeping with my dog," he said.

Ed Sheeran has penned this year's winner's single, When Christmas Comes Around.

Bookmaker William Hill said Terry is now favourite to clinch the coveted Christmas number one single with the track - ahead of big hitters like Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift and the charity single recorded in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Terry's triumph is the second win for X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, who also mentored James Arthur, the winner of the 2012 series.

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