Head First Sisters: 10 Years Of Jedward’s Iconic Eurovision Entry ‘Lipstick’ For Their Homeland Ireland

“You say you’re on it but you just don’t know-oww

You’re spending money like you’re on death row-oww”

Yesterday, 14 May, marks 10 years since Jedward sang ‘Lipstick’ at the Eurovision Song Contest final. It’s possibly their most famous song, and they performed in front of 38,000 people in the Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany, and to a world-wide audience of more than 120 million.

The song has gone down as one of Eurovision’s most memorable songs, and to some minds it was the true winner of 2011’s contest – and the only one many remember from that year (can you name the winner? Even better still, can you remember what it sounded like?). Still as fresh and catchy as it was back then, it’s almost impossible to think that 10 years have passed since it was first released. Jedward commemorated the occasion by posting their memories on Instagram, alongside a video of their performance:

10 year anniversary of Jedward performing Lipstick! Ireland’s best Eurovision result in over two decades!!

It was our greatest honour to represent Ireland! The fact that we brought the country together in a recession when people were at their lowest point! we brought happiness to every household!

We made way for new spiked hairstyles across the world. We never realised how high are hair was and the fact that our hair is all shaved off now we’re thankful to be at both ends of the hair scale.

We then went on to meet Barack Obama and perform this song he loved our energy and we had great chats with Michelle and him sometimes we think does he still remember us when he thinks of Ireland?

‘Lipstick’ is Jedward’s most streamed song on Spotify, with 7,357,216 streams to date for the radio edit, and 2,536,674 for the album track. The music video which they filmed themselves in Paris, has 6.4 million views on Jedward’s VEVO channel, while Irish National Broadcaster RTÉ has their own version of the clip called the ‘Paris Version’, which has 3.8 million views. Both far outstrip the official video – coming in at a mere 1.6 million views – which features animated photos of Jedward and their performance at the national selection programme Eurosong in February that year.

Jedward - Lipstick

The duo finished 8th in the final, bringing home the best result for Ireland since Eamonn Toal finished in 6th place with ‘Millennium Of Love’ in 2000. It’s also the best result for Ireland since semi-finals were introduced in 2004; indeed, nobody has managed to surpass that achievement for Ireland since – not even Jedward themselves in 2012.

Jedward might not have won the Eurovision Song Contest that year, but they did win the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award that year, which is presented to the best artist as voted on by the commentators. Watch their very cute reaction to winning from about 2 minutes 45 seconds:

Marcel Bezençon Awards 2011

Jedward’s performance won them fans all over the world. Their European tour saw them swamped by people wherever they went, drawing comparisons to Beatlemania. When they visited Estonia in October that year, a planned visit to a department store had to be shut down early because too many fans had gathered. The twins posted on their Twitter account:

“They had to shut down the CD signing because the police turned up and said it was unsafe! But we love all your BAD behaviour!”

That didn’t stop the fans however, with many chasing Jedward’s tour bus.

Jedward continue to be involved in the Eurovision Song Contest. Last year, with the contest cancelled due to Covid-19, they participated in the ‘Eurovision Home’ concerts, with a stripped back acoustic guitar version of ‘Lipstick’, as well as a cover of Lena’s song, ‘Satellite’. Watch the video below from 33 minutes 34 onwards:

Eurovision Home Concerts - Episode 6

Likewise, Jedward continue to actively write, record, and release new music, with their fourth album, ‘Voice Of A Rebel’ coming out via Universal Music Singapore in 2019. Recently they teased a song, ‘Treat Me Like A Human’, from their upcoming fifth album:

Additionally the Irish duo have established themselves as powerful commentators on issues of social justice, this week declaring that Israel should be made accountable for their actions against Palestine. Understandably, with passions running high about the conflict, the responses from both sides have been mixed, but the general consensus being that Jedward’s voice is one worth listening to, and that they’ve come a long way from the 19 year olds who hit that stage in Dusseldorf all those years ago.

Did you watch Eurovision in 2011? What are your memories of it and can you remember where you watched? Can you remember anyone else who performed that year? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

Leave a Reply