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Controversial X Factor stars, the singing Grimes twins tell our man of their plan to win a Grammy . . . and an Oscar

It was around 1.50pm on a cold Saturday afternoon in Donnybrook when the nerves began to kick in. Waiting inside the world's smallest dressing room, I could hear them coming down the corridor.

This was it. This was the moment of truth. I couldn't help but worry that the next 20 minutes could all go horribly, horribly wrong. What if they, like, didn't like me?

What if I can't stop staring at their hair? Worse, what if I 'accidentally' decide to give them a piece of my mind and . . . actually, best not finish that sentence.

Let's just say that interviewing John and Edward Grimes is an interesting experience. Especially if the two of them start dishing out the compliments.

"I think it's really cool that you're not, like . . . all the people that usually interview us are, like, old people," says Edward, as he takes a seat beside his brother.

"Yeah, or GIRLS!" agrees John, who, for some reason, begins examining my feet. "And, yeah, we wear Converse as well . . ."

Allowing for the chattier brother of the two to trail off into his own little world of shoes and whatnot, your youthful correspondent decides to share some information with Jedward that, whaddya know, further strengthens our newly discovered bond. Believe it or not, guys, but I'm a twin myself.

"Does your twin look like you?" asks John. Or Edward. No, we're fraternal, I say.

"Is that a girl?" he replies.

"You're not the same age!" says his brother.

Oh dear. Deciding to let the latter comment go, I nod my head and explain that my brother and I are not identical.

Edward looks a little puzzled. "Are we?"

Oh. Dear. Oh dear, oh dear.

I knew it was going to be like this. Indeed, you would have had to cut off all contact with the outside world over the past six months to not know about the magical and surreal existence of Jedward, the all-singing, all-dancing, delusional pop duo from Lucan who, surprisingly enough, have managed to turn what might have seemed like an impossible dream into one frightening and hysterical reality.

Break

You know the story, you've seen the Ghostbusters outfits, and now -- almost three months after making a dramatic and rather touching exit from The X Factor -- they're at the top of the bloody charts, too, with Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby), a cover that even sees the pair duet with the "most friendliest guy ever", Mr Robert 'Vanilla Ice' Van Winkle.

Having now signed an album deal ahead of both The X Factor tour and a support slot with Westlife in Croke Park this summer, I think it's safe to say that these twins are everywhere at the moment. And, to be honest, it's kind of freaking me out.

"The thing about me and John is, like, we realised that the more popular you get, the more people talk about you," says Edward, discussing how, in this business, taking a break isn't always the wisest option. "So, everyone's talking about us and we're in all these newspapers and all this stuff's being said about us, we just realise that we're getting more . . . bigger."

"Like, even when people say bad things about you, like, say, if someone says something mean, it doesn't matter because you made an impression on them to come out and go 'I don't like those guys'," explains John (profound stuff, I think you'll agree).

"It's all about making an impression and once you have made an impression, you can do anything." Yes, but you two had to put up with some serious abuse during your time on The X Factor, from both the press and audience members in the studio. Surely there must have been times when it all became too much to deal with?

"It's kind of weird, like, seeing, like, a man or a woman in the audience booing and you're like, 'what's your problem?'" says John. "We actually didn't care because, like -- think about it -- we came all the way from Ireland and it's, like, a UK kind of competition, and we beat, like, all their family members."

Hmmm, yes, because Ireland is another world away from Britain. Gotcha.

I hear the other contestants aren't that fond of you, especially now with the tour and the fact that you've apparently been given more stage time?

"The thing about me and John is that we've no problem with anyone," replies Edward, "and even if someone has a problem with us, we don't really take acknowledgement of it, we're just kind of going 'oh, whatever'."

Focus

Ah yes, but is there a problem?

"Nobody has a problem with us," says John, becoming a little defensive.

"Do they?" asks Edward. "If they do then we don't know about it!" they laugh.

Good answer.

I ask the lads about their time in school. After all, they even make up their own words these days ("exclusitivity" being one of my favourites).

Had it not been for The X Factor and, of course, the madness that followed, the two of them would be gearing up to sit their Leaving Cert this summer. Having studied at the Institute of Education in Dublin's Leeson Street, the 18-year-old duo agree that, while they will eventually sit the exams, pursuing what may be the only chance to have their dream career is what they need to focus on right now.

"Basically, me and John, like, if we put the effort in, we did well, but if we didn't, then we didn't," says Edward, intelligently reflecting on his time spent in the class room.

"Everyone else in our year was, like, really, really smart and, like, with us, we were more focused on our running and, kind of, getting that time down and improving our race, or something like that," he continues, explaining how they were always interested in athletics, art and music.

Funnily enough, they weren't involved in many talent competitions while growing up. No pressure from the parents, no Billie Barry -- none of that.

This was always their dream and their dream only. What's perhaps the scariest thing about John and Edward is their authenticity as a couple of fully pledged members to the Oddball Society of Showbiz Gone Wrong in the 21st Century. Saying that, however, they also happen to be two of the most mannerly and genuinely good-natured oddballs I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

They even seem shocked when I ask if they would ever consider using their new-found celebrity status as a way to, you know, seal the deal with the ladies.

Come to think of it, they barely responded to that one, preferring instead to wax lyrical about their time on The X Factor.

"We always painted a bigger picture of what it could be like," says John. "We were always going: 'aw, we wanna plan this really, really big show', and then everyone else was like, 'I'm really nervous, I don't know what I'm doing here' and then we were like, 'get over it'."

Scared

"When we were in boot camp, everyone was kind of really scared and nervous, and we just kind of always went that extra bit further."

So, I wonder what the distant future holds for Jedward. After all, if the next year is anything to go by, it looks as though they might just stick around for a lot longer than any of us could have predicted.

Visibly conjuring up the image in his head, Edward discusses his desire to win a Grammy. Or an Oscar. "An Oscar for Best . . . Actor," he explains. "We love music but we'd love to do like a film or something like that."

"We're gonna do everything!" adds John. "Clothes range, hair products, high tops . . . do you think we should?"

Me? Unfortunately, right before we have the chance to discuss any such lucrative business deals, we're interrupted by the Powers That Be.

With time almost up, there's just a few seconds left for one last question -- only, I'm not the one asking it.

"So, what school do you go to?" asks Edward. Ah lads, I'm not that bleedin' young . . .

Jedward will be signing copies of their debut single this afternoon at HMV in Dundrum Shopping Centre


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