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Friday 15 November 2019

Jedward charm the whole of Europe to qualify

Jedward celebrate in Dusseldorf. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Jedward celebrate in Dusseldorf. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Jedward celebrate after winning a place in the Eurovision final in Dusseldorf last night
Jedward with their Fans outside their hotel. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Ken Sweeney in Dusseldorf

POP twins Jedward brought their trademark chaos to Eurovision last night when they successfully qualified for the song competition in Germany.

Brothers John and Edward Grimes had jaws dropping as they jumped on desks to make their entrance at a press conference for the ten acts who qualified from last night's second semi-final.

With each act restricted to answer a maximum of two questions from the floor, the two 19-year-olds had barely been introduced, before they launched into a full assault on Europe's media.

"I'm John. I'm Edward and we're Jedward. We can't wait to meet all you amazing people," Jedward told the army of assembled news cameras and journalists.

Eurovision protocol went out the window as the two Lucan teenagers proceeded to ask and answer their own questions.

"We're one step closer to meeting Britney Spears. It's awesome. It's so cool that we're successful in the UK and Ireland, and we can't wait to be successful all around the world," said John.

Perform sixth out of 24 acts in the 56'th Eurovision Song Contest tomorrow night, the reality show runners-up then revealed their game plan for winning the annual song contest.

"All that's on our mind is just going out there and being fun and smiling . It's about creating a vibe so that everyone at home will go 'wow'," they said.

And for good measure, as organisers tried to wrap them up, went on to compare themselves to the top Eurovision act of all time, no less than Abba and said they were more than a pair of sticky-up haircuts.

"Every act is different. When Abba first took part it was all about the outfits, then they took it to the next stage and so will we ,"

Jedward warned.

POP twins Jedward moved one step closer to their Eurovision dream last night when they successfully qualified for the Song Contest in Germany.

Two over-enthusiastic teenagers from Lucan managed to pull off what has eluded seasoned pros in the past, by gaining Ireland entry into the main Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday.

But these are no ordinary teenagers. This was Jedward. X Factor finalists and now Eurovision stars.

"Who would have thought these two kids from X Factor would create this hysteria in Europe? They are successful in Ireland in a recession because they got off their arses and did something. They took a chance," their manager Louis Walsh said.

"OMG, this is the best thing in the world. We want to thank all the countries who voted for us, our fans, our mentor Caroline, the songwriters and RTE. We can't wait to perform again on Saturday. Go Team Jedward!" said Jedward shortly after they qualified.

The last of 19 acts to perform, they could have been forgotten in a sea of kitsch and camp entries.

However, at 9.19pm millions of TV watchers across Europe and beyond got their first taste of Jedward, with twin Edward lying on the stage and abruptly brought to his feet by brother John.

Instantly the back-drop came alive into a marching circus with Jedward punching the air to the chorus of their entry 'Lipstick'.

At that point Dusseldorf's Esprit Arena was transformed into a sea of 'Jedheads', courtesy of 3,000 cardboard quiffs delivered from Dublin that morning, and handed out to audience members.

By the song's end, voters around Europe had been won over and Jedward were on their way to Eurovision proper.

"We had a great team behind us, Caroline Desmond, RTE, our tour manager Liam McKenna and all our fans all around Europe. We can't think them all enough," said John.

But Jedward will face their biggest test this Saturday when they compete in the main Eurovision Song Contest with stiff competition from favourites France, as well as the tactical voting for which Eurovision has become notorious.

"It doesn't matter if Jedward don't win Eurovision. Remember they didn't win X Factor. This is just another chapter of something that is becoming a worldwide brand. America is next, I think Jedward will be great role models for the kids over there," said Louis Walsh.

But while talking his new Eurovision stars up, the pop manager was involved in an angry war of words with a former act whom he helped to Eurovision stardom over three decades ago: Johnny Logan.


Although wishing Jedward luck, the 57-year-old, who was attending Eurovision last night, has questioned their singing ability by claiming he was "glad they had four really good backing vocalists" and said that he found it "embarrassing to watch their behaviour".

Arriving at Eurovision yesterday, Louis Walsh was quick to defend his new act from his old.

"Why is Johnny being so negative about these kids? I was with Johnny back in 1980 when he won with 'What's Another Year', and he had at least three backings singers.

"That was then and this is now. Johnny should take a leaf out of Jedward's book by being young and happy," said Walsh who made another attack on Logan during the Derek Mooney programme live on RTE Radio 1.

Earlier Jedward themselves had made light of Logan's "backing singers" jibe.

"I think it's cool because they can save us from him running on stage.

"We thought about having him as one of our backing singers, but then we decided he was too old," said Edward speaking at a press conference before they performed.

Win or lose tomorrow night, 125 million are expected to see Jedward perform with 24 other acts in the 56th Eurovision Song Contest.

Irish Independent

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