You may have read a recent article that claims to give the lowdown on what Jedward are doing now. It didn’t take us long to realise that not only was it out of date, but there were also some glaring inaccuracies. We here at EP have always felt that Jedward deserve better, and so we’ve written our own.
We’ve Only Just Begun
John and Edward Grimes are 30 year old twins from Ireland, who started their musical career on the now defunct reality TV show, ‘X Factor’, back in 2009. Although the pair were only 17 years old, and still in school, they were nonetheless noticed for their charisma and popularity, not just with the studio audiences but also the viewers at home. This was capitalised on by producers, who encouraged a “love them or hate them” reaction, further supported by the media. John and Edward continued on the programme through to the finals, finishing in 6th place.
Their incredible popularity saw them represent Ireland twice in the Eurovision Song Contest, in consecutive years, 2011 and 2012. Both times they finished ahead of the UK, and their 8th placing in 2011 with ‘Lipstick’, remains not only the best Eurovision result for Ireland since 2000, but also the best result since semi-finals were introduced in 2004. Since their appearances, Ireland have only reached the semi-finals twice, in 2013, and 2018. Jedward however are sewn firmly into the very fabric of Eurovision, and have been invited to guest several times at the contest, including Copenhagen in 2014. In 2015, they were invited to model for designer Jean-Paul Gaultier as part of the Life Ball in Vienna, held a few days before Eurovision that year. They have been guest judges selecting the Irish contestant for Junior Eurovision on a number of occasions, and judged JESC itself in Malta in 2016, sitting alongside Eurovision luminary, Christer Björkman, and Universal Music’s Mads Grimstad.
Reality TV, Movies, And Friendship With Tara Reid
In addition to their tilts at the Eurovision trophy, John and Edward have participated in a number of reality tv shows, most notably Celebrity Big Brother, not once, but twice – in 2011 where they finished 3rd, and in 2017, finishing a very close 2nd. They struck up a firm friendship in CBB 2011 with actress Tara Reid, which remains strong to this day.
Through Tara, the twins were given the opportunity to cameo as themselves in her cult film, ‘Sharknado 3’, which was followed up by slightly larger roles in the sequels, ‘Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens’ (as Astro-X Techs), and in ‘Sharknado 5: Global Swarming’ (as “Cameron” and “Mick”).
Painting And Ed Sheeran
Later this year the pair will be on our screens participating in the Christmas special of ‘Portrait Painter Of The Year’, which saw them described as exhibiting a lot of talent. Fans will remember that they painted a picture for their great friend Ed Sheeran last year, in response to him sending one of his paintings to them. Speaking about the gift exchange, Sheeran said,
‘I paint, and I sent them a painting, and they sent me a painting back that they did and it was actually really, really good.’Ed Sheeran Almost Used A Stage Name Very Similar To Pals Jedward (evoke.ie)
Music Music And More Music
Of course Jedward are best known for their music, and have so far released four albums – ‘Planet Jedward’ (2010), ‘Victory’ (2011), ‘Young Love’ (2012), and 2019’s ‘Voice Of A Rebel’. They broke with their former management in 2013, and began releasing songs they’d written and produced themselves, starting with ‘Free Spirit’ in 2014. They signed with Universal Music Singapore in 2019, having previously been signed to Universal Music Ireland, and their fourth album, ‘Voice Of A Rebel’ saw them turn a corner in terms of their music career, with the release comprising 22 songs, all of which were written and produced by the pair themselves.
‘Voice Of A Rebel’ dealt with more adult themes than their previous releases, and while not a concept album as such, there is nonetheless a clear path through the songs, beginning with heartbreak, and eventually ending with the title track, a song whose message could well be their motto, as it addresses not needing to do things for the approval of others. The incredibly prolific artists have told fans that they have at least one album set for release later this year.
John has also released a lot of cover songs, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. You can hear many of them on the JedwardTV YouTube channel.
Social Media And Social Activism
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen Jedward take a more mature stance with regard to their social media presence as well. Like everyone else, they’ve had a lot more free time, but they decided to make good use of it and have become a voice of reason with regard to social injustice; marching for three hours with Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles brought them international praise, while their use of their considerable social media platform speaking against Covid-19 deniers has won them many supporters. Their outspokenness garnered the pair interviews on Ireland’s Late Late Show, as well as spots on a number of tv news programmes in the UK.
In March last year they took their social activism to a personal level, when they shaved off their famous quiffs, in memory of their mother and former manager Susanna, who died from cancer in 2019. The event raised more tan 3 million Euro for Irish Cancer Society.
The twins have also spoken out about the corruption in the music industry, and standing up for the likes of Little Mix and the former members of One Direction, who have no voice to defend themselves, due to having signed NDAs. Using their massive social media platform, they were able to get this information out to a wider audience, and introduced many to the truth behind some of their faves.
A New Audience On TikTok
But despite their political activism, Jedward haven’t forgotten that they are first and foremost entertainers, and they have, during the pandemic, fostered a formidable following on social media, first with their seemingly random direct messages on Twitter and Instagram, and more recently, on TikTok, where many of their videos have more than a million views. For a lot of long term fans this feels like a return to their comedy skits on their YouTube channel, JedwardTV, and we’re happy that their TikTok has seen them recognised by a whole new generation. This new fame was exhibited in person last week, when John and Edward were spotted in a box at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, while they were attending a concert.
What’s next for Jedward?
Apart from the upcoming album, the twins will be touring the UK in July, with performances in Manchester, London, and Glasgow. Further information can be found here.
We’ve also written a lot about Jedward over the years, so much so that they have their own categories on here. You can catch up with all our articles by following this link.