By James Hibberd
Updated October 26, 2011 at 03:59 PM EDT
Credit: Fox
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If you live in Los Angeles and it seems gusty outside, that’s because all over town Fox executives and X Factor producers are breathing a massive sigh of relief.

The first live show surged in the ratings. That’s exactly what everybody associated with this competition series had hoped for, especially after the numbers slipped recently in the shadow of baseball coverage disrupting Fox’s schedule. In fact, X Factor‘s performance show delivered its highest rating since its premiere — 11.4 million viewers and a 4.3 among adults 18-49. That’s up 10 percent from last week, and Factor will probably tie its series premiere when the national ratings are released later today.

The question is: Will Simon Cowell’s grand primetime venture gather more viewers as it continues toward its first season finale? Or was the spike for last night’s event — which pared down the contestants from 17 acts to 12 finalists — a one-time thing?

The X Factor rise comes on the heels of Tuesday night’s announcement that the show will become the first TV series to allow voting by Twitter. The network and producers announced a partnership with the social media company that gives fans the ability to a vote for their favorite finalists via their Twitter accounts. Twitter voting starts on Nov. 2 and EW has more details here.

Meanwhile, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (13.8 million, 2.5) dipped 4 percent despite eliminating a much-talked-about contestant.

Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing (9.8 million, 2.8) fell 10 percent, while Man Up! (6.7 million, 1.9) dropped 21 percent from last week’s premiere. Body of Proof (9.6 million, 1.9) was flat. CBS had NCIS (19 million, 4.0) and NCIS: LA (15.9 million, 3.7) — both up slightly — and Unforgettable (11.3 million, 2.5), which was steady. NBC’s The Biggest Loser (5.5 million, 1.9) was steady.

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Episode Recaps

The X Factor

Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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