THE X Factor: Celebrity was CRUSHED by Strictly in the Saturday night ratings war, as the show's return pulled in just HALF the viewers.
Despite The X Factor avoiding a head to head schedule clash with the Beeb by starting after the dance hit finished, it couldn't compete when it came to bums on seats.
An average of 4.5 million tuned in to see Simon Cowell's big gamble, which is a strong start but well behind Strictly's massive 8.4 million.
And while X Factor hasn't come close to Strictly's audience for years, there had been high hopes for the new incarnation, which sees various famous faces compete for a record contract.
Last night's X Factor peaked at 5.1 million, but again, this was far behind Strictly's peak of 9 million.
Still at least Simon can console himself with the fact that The X Factor: Celebrity received favourable reviews from fans.
Many of those who tuned in hailed the new star-studded version as the saviour of the show.
The ordinary series of the show has been axed for this year and replaced with both this and an All Stars version later this year and fans are thrilled.
"Miles better than I thought it would be," tweeted one impressed viewer.
"What a great start to the show," added another. "Feels so much better than the normal show, and so much funnier."
The celeb line-up including the likes of Martin Bashir, Jenny Ryan and Love Island's Wes Nelson, Eyal Booker, Samira Mighty and Zara McDermott.
Judging favourites Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger are back on the panel as the 14 celebrity acts amass in Malibu, California in Simon Cowell's back garden to compete for a place in the live shows.
Meanwhile, last night's ratings champion Strictly Come Dancing saw Karim Zeroual and Kelvin Fletcher top the leaderboard while Alex Scott was at the bottom.
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