Jedward originally shot to fame after finishing sixth in The X Factor in 2009. The pair have been high profile ambassadors for the Eurovision Song Contest since they first participated in 2011 with Lipstick, which finished a respectable eighth in Düsseldorf. This was Ireland's best showing in the Eurovision Song Contest for over a decade. After the contest, the single (already number one in Ireland) swept the charts across Europe including Belgium Sweden and Germany, peaking at number three in Austria and solidifying their European fan base.
The duo returned in 2012 with Waterline, taking Ireland to the Grand Final once again. In 2014 Jedward attended the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen and now they will join the first ever Junior Eurovision expert panel. John Bundy, CEO of PBS Malta said, "We at PBS are very pleased that they have accepted our invitation and we are sure that they will be giving a spectacular show together with Poli Genova and the other participants."
This year, each singer will be judged by one professional music industry jury and one youth jury made up of children from every participating country. These will combine 50/50 to form that country’s vote. Then, in a format change brand new for 2016, the event will also see votes from three expert judges making up the rest of the overall score (with each judge counting for the equivalent of one additional country).
The first ever expert judges panel will comprise of Jedward, Mads Grimstad of Universal Music, and expert show producer, Christer Bjorkman, the man behind the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, Melodifestivalen. Christer was the show producer for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm and represented Sweden in the competition in 1992. Each expert judge or jury member score every act, either giving the prized 12 points, 10 points, or 8-1. Their votes will be added together, creating the participant's final score. Jedward will have one vote between them.
Star-studded line-up in 2016
Providing additional entertainment for the live final will be last year's winner Destiny Chukunyere, who will not only perform her winning track Not My Soul but also her brand new single La Di Da at the event. Poli Genova, who represented Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 and 2016, will add to the star-studded line-up, performing in the interval act. Poli is no stranger to Junior Eurovision and presented the show last year when it was held in Sofia, Bulgaria. Earlier this year she scored Bulgaria's best ever placing in the Eurovision Song Contest with her song If Love Was A Crime.
Hosting this year’s contest will be Ben Camille, who also hosted the Maltese national final for Eurovision 2016, and Valerie Vella who hosted that competition in 2002 and presented Malta’s votes in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005. Taryn Mamo Cefai will be the host of the Opening Ceremony.
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest, hosted by the EBU and PBS Malta, will take place 16:00 - 18:30 CET 20th November 2016.