THE nail-biting moments when the X Factor wannabes found out who made it through to the live finals helped the show fight back against Strictly Come Dancing to put the rivals on almost level pegging.
So far this year, BBC1's Strictly has been far ahead of the ITV singing contest when they have been screened on the same night.
But X Factor fought back on Sunday night as the final 12 who go through to the live stages were revealed.
Strictly was ahead by the narrowest of margins with 8.84 million while the X Factor drew 8.81 million.
The X Factor was up 400,000 on the 8.4 million who tuned in for the equivalent episode last year, and Strictly was up for its first results show by 600,000.
On Saturday night Strictly had a commanding lead with an average audience of 8.8 million to X Factor's 7.2 million.
During this weekend's X Factor programmes viewers saw sister duo Blonde Electric change their name to Blonde Electra as they made it through.
Along with quartet Only The Young and a boy band that includes 18-year-old Chris Leonard, from Ballivor, Co Meath, they will be mentored by Louis Walsh.
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini chose to take through Lauren Platt, Chloe Jasmine and Stephanie Nala for her girls category. Andrea Faustini, Paul Akister and Jake Quickenden represent the boys category, after being chosen by Melanie Brown, while Simon Cowell is in charge of Ben Haenow, Fleur East and Jay James in the "overs" category.
Bookies have Italian Faustini as fav- ourite to triumph at 2/1.