The final episode of the 12th season of the singing competition drew an average of 8.4 million overnight viewers in the 8-10 p.m. time slot, according to overnights.tv. That compared with 9.4 million last season and fell below the 9.3 million recorded for the second season finale in Britain in 2005, which had so far ranked as the lowest-rated.
In terms of U.K. audience share, the finale reached 34.4 percent, also a new low, compared with 35.7 percent last year and 35.9 percent in 2005.
The show, created by Simon Cowell who also is one of the judges, ended its latest season with a live episode from London’s Wembley Arena that included star performances.
The show won its time slot in the ratings, and the audience was the biggest for the latest season. Overall, the 12th season averaged about 7 million overnight viewers, compared with 8 million last season.
The star performances on the show drew much social media buzz. Adele performed “Hello” and debuted shorter hair.
And One Direction, which had come in second during the show’s 2010 season, came out for a final performance before an extended hiatus. After their rendition of “Infinity,” mentor Cowell introduced video tributes from such famous One Direction friends and fans as James Corden, David Beckham and 5 Seconds of Summer. The boy band then performed “History.”
Amid the performance, #ThisIsNotTheEndOfOneDirection became the top Twitter trend worldwide.