John and Edward Grimes, better known as Jedward, divided Britain with their energetic performances yet off-key vocals on British television. Critics savaged their musical abilities, but the general public was won over by their exuberant stage shows.
While they came in only sixth in the sixth round of "X Factor," it was their polarizing performances, eye-catching fashion sense and distinctive quiffs that brought them such widespread attention. Some may wonder about all the hype, but the lads are clearly on the road to music industry stardom. They already have a string of Top 5 singles and a platinum-selling record to their name.
Their appearance at this year's Eurovision Song Contest brought them pan-European exposure. In Germany, they've proved to be extremely popular. Their Eurovision entry "Lipstick" instantly hit the Number One spot on the German iTunes charts after their electric performance at the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf. Just this week, it entered the official Top 100 charts at Number 12.
During their whirlwind promotional tour, Deutsche Welle's Amy Zayed caught up with Jedward in Cologne to talk about Eurovision, their love of Germany and rumors that one of them is romancing Lena Meyer-Landrut.
Deutsche Welle: How do you guys feel now after your Eurovision appearance?
John: We're so excited now after Eurovision. Because "Lipstick" made such an impact across Europe, suddenly all of these record labels have started to take notice. So we've been recording some brand new tracks in the studio. Really upbeat songs and we can't wait for everyone to hear them.
Edward: We have our album coming out in Germany in a few weeks. They haven't set a date yet, but we also have a tour planned. We're really excited about doing that. I can't wait for all the fans and going crazy on stage. Each song is like a finale with all the energy. It's not like we just stand there and sing. We have so much energy! So it's like coming to a work-out if you come to our concert with the audience just standing there screaming during the whole thing.
John: I can't wait for all these German girls all over the country singing our songs.
So what's true and what's fantasy about the whole love-hate relationship between you and Lena?
Edward: We did this interview in the UK and they wrote that we said this, that and the other about Lena and we didn't say any of it. We like Lena. We think she's really sweet.
John: We're really big fans of Lena's music and think she's cool. Whatever people may say…well, it's called gossip because it is not always true.
The latest I heard is that one of you is dating Lena?
Edward: What? Oh my god! Wow! No! This is crazy! We're only friends with Lena.
So what do you like most about Germany?
John: What I like most about Germany is that all cities are so different. Dusseldorf is so different to Berlin. They all have their own uniqueness. We haven't been to Munich or Hamburg yet but all cities look almost like different countries.
Edward: What I also like about Germany is the fans. They're really dedicated and they're always tweeting us on Twitter.
Everyone is talking about your hair - the so-called Jedhead. How long does it take to do?
John: It takes ten minutes. We use mousse, hairspray, a hair dryer and a brush. We do our own hair, we do our own make-up and we do our own styling. And we are 19!
Your music has really polarized audiences, even to the extent that British Prime Ministers like Gordon Brown and David Cameron went public with their opinions on you. What do you think of that?
John: Gordon Brown came to see us. He is now such a huge fan! Just the other day we met Barack Obama. It was amazing. He is a big fan of me and Edward. He comes up to and speaks in this really strong accent. He said he liked our hair and style and he asked us what Jedward meant and we said it was John and Edward together and he said he was really excited about getting us to play the White House. We sang for him in Dublin in front of 25,000 people.
You've always been the object of gossip and speculation. How do you cope with the press these days?
John: Well, you need to realize that some people will like you and some people never will so you need to keep going for the people who do like you.
Edward: You've got to do it for your fans and realize that you need to put good vibes out there and remain positive and eventually, you'll be successful.
John: And it is cool, because some people who weren't our fans in the beginning are now true Jedward fans.
Edward: And sometimes it is really good to be the underdog because you can always come up with something bigger and better to surprise people with. For me and John, it is absolutely clear that we are not going to change for anyone. We never will be normal singers who sing these amazing vocals. We'll always have loads of energy, we'll always bring a good show, we won't be just sitting down talking.
Where do you get your shoes from?
John: You know the idea came about because Avril Lavigne wears these high cup Converse and we made them for guys to wear. Our fans wear them too. We have so many clothes. And some of our fans even get us runners. Our garage at home is packed out with shoes and runners.
Edward: The runners we wore at Eurovision were actually made by a fan. She stuck all the diamonds and stuff on them. Our fans are really creative!
Text: Amy Zayed
Editor: Rick Fulker
To hear more from the Jedward boys and to check out their Eurovision entry "Lipstick," click on this week's Soundscape 100 link below!