Controversies Fail to Lift Audience for 'Britain's Got Talent' Season Finale

Underdog winner Jai MacDowell pulls in 14 million viewers, but not even the return of Simon Cowell can lift audience to earlier seasons.

LONDON - Despite off screen controversies, the return of Simon Cowell and and an on-screen surprise win from outsider Jai MacDowell, Britain's Got Talent failed to hit the season finale highs of the last few years.

Audiences for the ITV1 two-and-a-half hour show peaked at 14 million compared to 15 million last year and 19 million in 2009, when the favorite Susan Boyle came second.

But the show more than beat the opposition on Saturday night, trouncing Doctor Who on BBC1, which won 5.5 million viewers  at 6.40 p.m. and So You Think You Can Dance which won 2.2 million at 9 p.m.

After an anonymous memo which surfaced last week said the show had been fixed in favor of 12-year old Justin Bieber-lookalike Ronan Parke, there were audible gasps when underdog MacDowell was declared the winner.

The Scotsman from Ayr has snapped up $164,000 in prize money and will go on the winners' tour along with the other finalists.

Parke, who came second, will also tour and is rumoured to be looking at signing a deal with Sony Music and Syco to further develop his voice and career.