Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Strictly vs. The X Factor: Which do you prefer?

The X Factor returned to our screens over the weekend for a tenth season and managed to pull in an audience of 9.2 million - that's 500,000 more than last year's debut. But ITV bosses won't have long to celebrate; this Saturday they'll have serious competition in the form of the BBC's talent show, Strictly Come Dancing, also on its tenth season. X Factor has it's hardcore fans, and so does Strictly, but who would win in a fight?

The Judges

The X Factor

Simon Cowell has long since ditched Blighty's X Factor for the glamour and big bucks of the US version, but it's hoped Sharon's return will make up for that. Meanwhile, Gary Barlow is providing the no-holds-barred criticisms and Nicole Scherzinger has developed a nice line in quotable zingers. Our favourite: "Two words, honey: LI - VING" *snaps fingers twice*.

Score: 4/5

Strictly Come Dancing

While X Factor judges come and go, Strictly's line-up has remained relatively constant - and there's no doubting they know their stuff. Head judge and Bethnal Green boy Len Goodman is a four-time British ballroom dancing champion, while new judge Darcy Bussell is the former Principal Dancer at the Royal Ballet

Score: 3/5

The Contestants

The X Factor

The X Factor specialises in making stars from nobodies - or rather finding the star quality that was there all along. Memorable contestants include hyper-camp Rylan Clark and you might also have heard of a little, moderately successful band called One Direction

Score: 3/5

Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly's stars are already stars when they come on the show. Sort of. The range of B-listers to have cha-cha-ed across our screens include Alesha Dixon, Chris Hollins and Natasha Kaplinsky.

Score: 2/5

The Host

The X Factor

Who is it these days? Dermot? That cheeky chappy one who reminds us a bit of Dermot? Or the posh blonde one who used to edit Smash Hits? The most memorable thing about X Factor presenters is how they leave all the best lines to the judges.

Score: 1/5

Strictly Come Dancing

Bruce Forsyth has been on TV since the Ice Age and he's still the best. Long may he reign.

Score: 5/5

AND THE WINNER IS...

Strictly with 10 points, to The X Factor's 8. It was close, but no one messes with Brucie.

What do you think?

 

React Now

Read Next
 

August catch-up: second languages, the secret of love and is it all right to call someone stupid?

John Rentoul
High and mighty: Edinburgh Castle and city skyline  

i Editor's Letter: We're coming to Edinburgh

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?