Controversial season of The X Factor closes weaker than 2013 outing

Last night, an average of 333,000 Kiwis tuned in to watch Beau Monga crowned as the winner of the second season of The X Factor NZ.

In 2013, when the show last aired on TV3, the finale attracted 446,000 viewers over the course of two hours, meaning that this year’s show suffered a significant dip.

This was also evident in the key 25-54 demographic, which saw 68,000 fewer Kiwis tune in for the latest edition. 

Despite the slip in viewership numbers, MediaWorks spokesperson Rachel Lorimer focused on the performance of the show over the course of the entire season. 

“We’re happy with the performance of The X Factor NZ,” Lorimer says. “Overall, three million Kiwis tuned into the series and there have been nearly half a million video on-demand streams of full episodes.”

These on-demand streaming stats are likely to increase over the next few days as fans who missed the finale catch up on the content via 3Now.

Lorimer also points to social media engagement and other online metrics as evidence of the show’s success. 

“The show also enjoyed high levels of social media engagement, adding its 200,000th Facebook fan this week,” she says. “One of the highlights, winner Beau Monga’s audition, has now been watched 9.25 million times, and Beau’s debut single is number on the NZ iTunes charts today.”

But the show didn’t only attract positive attention online. MediaWorks also came under fire for telling a one-sided story of contestant Shae Brider’s involvement in an altercation that led to the death of a 16-year-old in Whanganui in 2004. Shortly thereafter, The X Factor NZ host Domnic Bowden issued a pre-recorded apology.          

The MediaWorks statistics also do not include the over eight million views tallied of a clip showing controversial judges Willy Moon and Natalia Kills laying into contestant Joe Irving. 

But, as evidence of the fact that bad publicity can at times drive up audience numbers, Throng reports that the episode following the axing of the judges had the highest rating of the season, attracting 438,320 viewers (it was the only episode in this season to break the 400,000 mark in 2015). 

Asked whether the show would return next year for a third season, Lorimer said that a decision had not yet been made. 

Here are the full ratings for both seasons:

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