Belfast Telegraph

Mel B says thanks on XFactor return

Mel B has thanked the nurses and doctors who cared for her during the illness that saw her miss The X Factor on Saturday night.

The former Spice Girl returned to the judges' panel for the results show after being released from hospital.

She said: "I really missed being here but thanks to all the doctors and nurses who took care of me and got me here tonight."

Asked by host Dermot O'Leary if she was feeling better, Mel said: "Yes - ish."

Tulisa Contostavlos stood in for her on Saturday's show, during which her act Andrea Faustini was voted off - leaving Ben Haenow and Fleur East to compete to be named winner of the eleventh series of the ITV show.

Mel said: "I was texting all night and he (Andrea) did such a good job. He made the final - I love him."

It emerged today that the show drew its lowest audience for a decade - and trailed its BBC One rival Strictly Come Dancing by more than a million viewers.

The ITV show had an average audience of 8.4 million, including those watching on the catch-up +1 channel, which was down 100,000 on the Saturday stage of last year's finale.

The only time it has fared worse was in 2004 when it pulled in 8.1 million for the first ever final, won by Steve Brookstein. Without the +1 figures this year, the audiences would be on a par.

Strictly - which last night reached its semi-final stage - drew 9.9 million, which was also down 100,000 on the equivalent show last year.

The BBC dance show has been ahead throughout this year's series, although ITV will take comfort that last night's show was 1.1 million up on the Saturday night edition of the X Factor semi-final last week.

The singing contest has seen a marked decline in its audience over recent years. In 2010 - when Matt Cardle was the winner - the equivalent show drew 14.1 million viewers.

There had been hopes that the return of Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini would lift the viewing figures this year but their appearances have not translated into a ratings boost.


From Belfast Telegraph