Jedward, Ireland’s most successful Eurovision representatives for nearly 20 years, have finished as runners up in the 19th edition of Celebrity Big Brother in the UK. It was the second time they took part in the show, having first entered the famous house in 2011. Last year the twins performed at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Malta and we caught up with them to find out what life has been like since they participated in the Eurovision Song Contest.
John and Edward, known as Jedward, first rose to prominence in 2009 when they participated in The X Factor in the UK. The identical twins were managed by Louis Walsh, the manager behind this year’s Irish Eurovision entry, Brendan Murray. Initially Jedward were the subject of much debate on social media and even judge Simon Cowell publicly criticised the duo, yet they went on to develop a loyal fan base.
Jedward represented Ireland in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest with Lipstick and provided the country with its best placing since 2000. They participated in the contest the following year with Waterline and once again took Ireland to the Grand Final. Jedward count Barack Obama and Pixie Lott as fans and even got Miley Cyrus to watch the Eurovision Song Contest!
Jedward have always remained proud of their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. When they were in Malta for Junior Eurovision they reflected on their experiences. “It was amazing”, said John, “we met so many people from different countries and different cultures. Before we were kind of trapped in the UK and Ireland, and then after Eurovision, it was Jedward everywhere!”
Shortly after their first appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest Jedward met the then US President Barack Obama when he was on an official visit to Dublin. "We met him in our Eurovision costumes, as he left the White House we were in his head", joked John. Later in 2011 they participated in Celebrity Big Brother for the first time before vying to represent Ireland in Eurovision again the following year.
The 2012 Eurovision Song Contest took place in Baku, Azerbaijan and Jedward took Ireland to the Grand Final once again. “We got to go to Azerbaijan, they even had London taxis flown in, it was a big deal”.
There’s more to Jedward than Eurovision of course. What have they been up to since 2012? “Since Eurovision we had four TV shows, toured Japan and Australia, we did some modelling for fashion magazines, we did Celebrity Big Brother”, said Edward, before John interrupted; “We sound like we are bragging so we are going to cut it there, we did a lot of great things”.
More recently the twins sat on the expert panel of the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest and performed their single, Hologram, during the interval. Their second place in the 19th edition of Celebrity Big Brother has shown that not only are they entertaining as a musical act, they’ve also won over the affections of the public. At just 25 years old, the future looks bright for Ireland’s most famous twins. The lads have also not ruled out a return to the Eurovision stage and have their eyes set on Sweden; “We would love to do Melodifestivalen!” Europe, brace yourselves!
You can follow Jedward on Twitter to keep up to date with their latest exploits. The first heat of Melodifestivalen 2017 takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday 4th February at 20:00 CET.