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It’s not every day that a show’s ratings are the topic of heated debate — before the show has ever aired! For The X Factor’s season 2 premiere, Simon Cowell brought the issue front and center.

The former American Idol judge is used to huge ratings for his reality competitions, and even told The Hollywood Reporter last year that he expected 20 million viewers for the show’s first season. That didn’t happen. This year, he said he was going to keep expectations a little lower — “over one million,” he joked. Then, right before the second season kicked off, another controversy arose, causing Simon to bring attention back to The X Factor’s ratings.

What happened was that The Voice scheduled one of its premiere episodes opposite XF and Simon took to some fightin’ words, calling the NBC show’s move into an opposing slot “nothing short of dirty tricks.” So, when The X Factor’s season premiere had a smaller audience than The Voice, Simon’s fears seemed vindicated.

Well, we sure hope Simon can be as impressed by good news as he was by some of this season’s contestants (Heya, Panda), because according to recent numbers, The X Factor beat The Voice in the ratings this week. Only 5.5 million viewers tuned in to watch The Voice — possibly because fans are mad about Christina Aguilera leaving in the spring? The X Factor, on the other hand, got 8.2 million viewers in its first hour (a little less than in the season premiere) and over 10 million in the second.

Whatever the reason for the improvement, we hope the FOX competition will continue to get eyes on the prize. With a five million dollar one, that should be no sweat.  

Oh, and don’t tell Simon, but we secretly wonder if his absence from the first hour of this week’s show had anything to do with the improved ratings (Simon was out sick). Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to keep stand-in Louis Walsh around — we hear the show is still looking for a host, after all.

Source: The Daily Mail

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