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X Factor suffers a final humiliation: 1.3million viewers desert climax of ITV talent showSaturday night's X factor show attracted just 9.3million viewers – the lowest for a final since 2005The low figure was despite appearances from Kylie Minogue and Rita Ora
01:13 GMT, 10 December 2012
It was once the most watched show on television.
But not even the final of The X Factor, with all its glitz and glamour, could stop its dismal decline.
Millions more viewers deserted the ailing talent show for the first stage of the competition’s final on Saturday night with an average of just 9.3million tuning in – 1.3million fewer than the same show last year.
It is the show’s lowest ratings for a final in seven years, when 9.2million watched Shayne Ward triumph in 2005.
New low: Just 9.3million viewers tuned in to see finalists James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas and Christopher Maloney sing on Saturday night
Stars: The show had its lowest ratings since 2007 despite performances from star turns including Kylie Minogue, left, and Rita Ora, right
This was despite performances from Kylie Minogue and up-and-coming pop star Rita Ora – as well as the drama of a public vote, which saw former cruise ship singer Christopher Maloney leave the show.
The eventual winner was 24-year-old singer-songwriter James Arthur who beat supermarket worker Jahmene Douglas, 21.
This year’s X Factor series, the ninth in the show’s history, has struggled with tumbling ratings, recording an average of 8.9million viewers, almost two million fewer than last year.
Winner: James Arthur, right, beat Jahmene Douglas in last night's X Factor final
Two years ago, the show was hitting an average of 14.1million each week and the final show of the series attracted almost 20million viewers.
The fall in ratings has been blamed on the departure of Simon Cowell from the judging panel. He left after the 2010 series to concentrate on The X Factor USA.
He was replaced by Take That star Gary Barlow, 41, whose future on the show is now said to be uncertain.
There are now suggestions that the judging panel, which also includes Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos and US singer Nicole Scherzinger, is set for a revamp ahead of next year’s series.
Yesterday’s show was further overshadowed when Maloney dramatically quit hours before it started, reportedly abusing staff following a late-night drinking session.
He was due to appear on stage last night to sing with his fellow contestants but turned up late to rehearsals yesterday after returning to his Manchester hotel at 4am.
X Factor staff were dispatched to find him when he failed to turn up at 11am. He was then said to have abused staff members who decided he was unable to take part in the final run-through.
He also reportedly verbally abused fellow contestant Carolynne Poole.
Shortly after, he told staff that he did not want to appear on last night’s show. An X Factor spokesman said: ‘Chris decided he no longer wanted to be part of the X Factor final and has gone back to Liverpool.’
An X Factor source said that his place on the show’s lucrative tour was now in jeopardy and he may not be allowed to return. It would mean the singer may miss out on 100,000 he would earn for taking part.
The source said: ‘Show bosses will be talking to him in the next few days.’
SOMEONE LOVES YOU, CHERYL!
If she was feeling unloved, this superfan would have made it all better.
The young woman simply couldn’t contain her hysteria at seeing Cheryl Cole outside a London nightclub.
However, Miss Cole’s mind appeared to be elsewhere as she went on to party the night away with her boyfriend Tre Holloway, her mother and brother.
Yesterday it emerged the pop star is suing the US version of The X Factor for 1.4million in unpaid fees. The 29-year-old was left humiliated after Simon Cowell sacked her from the US show after just four days’ filming.
She was paid her full 1.1million fee but now her legal team has taken action against the show’s production company, stating her contract included payment for a second season, despite the fact she did not complete the first run.
Oh my God! The fan can't believe her eyes, was it really her