X Factor 2015: Ratings drop almost 2 million compared to last year's launch show

The new judges line-up didn't prove as popular as Cowell had hoped

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The Independent Culture

Simon Cowell thought he had banded together one of TV’s most attractive teams, able to bring in a record high viewership for his ‘singing’ contest, The X Factor.

Unfortunately for the Syco owner, the nation really isn’t that interested in having Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw, Olly Murs and Caroline Flack on screen together. In fact, the new team has managed to put off viewers, leading to a nine-year low in ratings for the ITV phenomenon.

According to overnight viewing figures, the debut show of the 12th series had 7.11 million people tuned in, peaking at 8.5 million.

All smiles: girl group 4th Power wowed the judges in 'The X Factor' auditions

Compared with last year, which had 9 million people watching initial episode, these figures are a huge drop – almost 2 million viewers. 

The last time the show opened to such low figures was in 2006 when Leona Lewis won. What’s remarkable is this is the first year Louis Walsh hasn’t appeared on the show.

The episode had a number of controversial points, including one contestant being put through who had previously blasted Cheryl Cole and the show.