Friday 19 December 2014

Louis knows Jedward are so bad they are brilliant

The best thing about the Grimes twins' success is that we cannot be held responsible for it, writes Andrea Byrne

Published 01/11/2009 | 05:00

IN a way, you have to admire the musical intuition of Louis Walsh in putting John and Edward Grimes through to the live shows of The X Factor. Before they even took to the stage, internet hate campaigns raged. Their inclusion alone caused some people to threaten to boycott the successful show.

We all thought that either (a) Louis was taking Irish patriotism to the point of embarrassment or (b) he had finally lost it.

Conversations followed on how, with their distinct lack of talent and disturbing level of self-assurance for their modest age, they were sure to fail spectacularly on the show. And we, the Irish public, would blush by association alone. Never, ever, did we think that they could actually win it. However, now that seems a likely possibility.

If reports are to be believed, fans of the Dublin twins are multiplying like rabbits on Viagra. In fact, such is the hysteria surrounding John and Edward -- or Jedward as they are more affectionately known -- that the Chinese Ambassador, whose house is next door to the contestants, has complained officially to the British Government about the relentless screaming (and flashing) of their female fans.

Even celebrities are weighing in to the Jedward debate: Robbie Williams thinks they will win. For style guru Gok Wan, they are his "guilty pleasure" but Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh thinks it is unfair that they are taking a spot away from someone who is really talented.

What makes Jedward work, and here's where Louis Walsh should garner some applause, is that the songs that are chosen for them each week do nothing to disguise how tone-deaf they are -- if anything they play on it, in the same way as the dance routines succeed in highlighting how awkward and out-of-sync they are. The garish matching costumes, faux-American accents, time-warp hairstyles and brotherly high-fives and hand-slaps only succeed in endearing them further. It's a classic case of being so bad, it's brilliant.

But the best thing about Jedward's success is that we, the Irish public, cannot be held responsible for it, given that we can't vote.

Another potential reason for Jedward's unforeseen popularity is that, this year, there is no standout star. Consequently, it is as much about personality and controversy as it is about genuine singing ability. The minute both Leona Lewis and last year's winner Alexandra Burke stepped out on the stage for the first time, you knew instantly that they had something special -- that they could actually make it internationally. There is no one that talented to care about on this occasion and as a result, the voting public are more than content to leave a novelty act, such as the Grimes twins, in for as long as possible -- if only to have a laugh.

Danyl Johnson, the supposed best singer in the competition, received so few votes that he found himself battling it out in the bottom two last week, while Jedward topped the public vote. Apparently, Danyl hasn't "connected with the audience" and has been dogged by accusations of bullying. But then there's no better way to shed an image of tormentor than to be photographed in a hospital cradling a sick child, so Danyl might just be back in public favour this week.

Say what you will about The X Factor, its musical clout is unquestionable. Just look at its domination of the charts. Last year's winner, Alexandra Burke, went straight to number one following her performance on the ITV show, only to be taken off the top spot the following week by X Factor judge Cheryl Cole. Despite being heavily criticised for her performance on the show, Cole's debut solo offering has become the fastest-selling single of the year so far. But Burke need not have worried too much about being knocked off the top, as she has since found herself on top of the album charts.

Michael Buble, who performed on The X Factor on Sunday, is the second highest selling album, while Whitney Houston, who despite a questionable routine on the show the previous week, finds herself in third place on said listings. Also, you can guarantee that whoever wins this year's X Factor will become Christmas number one as this has been the trend from the outset of the show.

Bet you never thought you'd say it, but here's hoping we'll be singing and swinging to a Jedward song on Christmas Day!

Sunday Independent

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