X Factor semi-final audience drops

The X Factor saw its semi-final audience plummet with 2.6 million fewer viewers than last year.

The ITV1 singing contest drew an average of eight million during the 90-minute show, as its ratings slump across the series continued.

At this stage last year the Saturday night edition of the show had pulled in 10.6 million viewers.

But compared with the 2010 semi it has proved to be even more disastrous, with the audience dropping almost 42% on the 13.7 million who tuned in two years ago.

X Factor normally experiences a lift in viewer interest as it reaches its climax, but last night's semi-final was actually down 200,000 on the previous Saturday.

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