X Factor falters while Kian's I'm A Celeb soars
ONCE, nearly a million viewers tuned in to watch Ballyfermot woman Mary Byrne sing.
But after more than a decade of corny compliments, the Irish public is growing tired of X Factor.
The average audience for the ITV talent show in Ireland is down from 459,000 to 398,000 this year, with last Saturday night's show pulling in only 297,000 viewers -- down 14pc on the same night last year.
The UK has seen a similar decline, with viewing figures falling 60,000 last weekend to 8.16 million.
Frankie Carty, a media buyer with Core Media, said: "There is definitely an X Factor fatigue setting in after 10 years. In Ireland, there's even more apathy towards X Factor because there isn't an Irish finalist."
It wasn't for want of trying. Whitehall woman Melanie McCabe made an early exit from the contest this year on her fourth attempt.
But industry experts say the show, which saw singer Sam Callahan sent packing on Sunday night, remains popular with 18- to 34-year-olds, and figures are expected to improve in the run-up to Christmas as it tries to battle the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.
But if X Factor is struggling without Irish talent, the participation of Sligo man and former Westlife singer Kian Egan in ITV's I'm A Celebrity has helped put digital channel 3e on the map.
The reality show became the highest-rated programme in the history of 3e on Sunday night, with an average of 339,200 tuning in.
Egan (right) was heard telling fellow contestants how Westlife were not as sweet as they seemed.
"The funny thing is that people say you're all so clean-cut but we weren't really," he said.
"We go out on the rip, fall over the place and get drunk and go out real late and drink a good amount.
"For the first few years we were first-class lunatics when it came to going out, but if we had something important the next day we wouldn't do it (go out), or if it was going to affect what we were doing.
"That was the big thing for us."