2:26 AM PDT 6/2/2014 by Georg Szalai
The Simon Cowell show on ITV averaged 7.8 million viewers for its last semifinal episode, the smallest audience for the talent competition this season.
The final live semifinal episode of the eighth season of Simon Cowell talent show Britain's Got Talent on ITV this weekend drew the lowest ratings for the competition this season.
According to one observer, the performance also marked the lowest-rated live episode of the show ever.
The Saturday episode averaged 7.75 million viewers, also down from the equivalent episode last year, even though it drew an audience share of 41.1 percent, according to ratings consultancy Attentional.
The performance continued a trend seen during the rest of the week. The first BGT live semifinal last Monday had averaged 9.6 million, down about 700,000 viewers from the first live show last year. The year-over-year drops continued, and the show's ratings in recent days also lost steam compared to the rest of the season.
Observers have blamed less exciting acts and too many ad spots during the show as having hurt the show's ratings.
The final episode of BGT is set to air on Saturday. ITV last year secured Cowell's BGT and The X Factor for three more seasons. The BGT judges are Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.