THE default praise from the judges on The X Factor, Channel Seven's reality music show, is that each performance, or the entrant responsible, is ''incredible'', even when they're plainly not.
What's genuinely incredible about the series itself is that, despite returning in the wake of the phenomenally successful debut season of The Voice, a dangerously similar production, The X Factor has barely missed a beat.
It continues to post impressive audience figures on Monday and Tuesday nights. Conventional wisdom had it that The X Factor was going to be ratings roadkill after The Voice had effectively stolen its thunder.
It was no empty threat, as the Channel Nine behemoth had already badly dented another established Channel Seven success, Australia's Got Talent. By the time that show concluded at the end of July, it was no longer able to break the benchmark figure of 1 million viewers in the five main capitals.
But it turns out The X Factor is resilient. Since it returned in August, the show has drawn between 1.4 million and 1.6 million viewers an episode and has repeatedly been the evening's top ratings draw.
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