Jedward rise to the challenge despite some quiff competition


TV VIEW:THERE WAS stiff competition in the quiff department but there was never any doubt that Jedward were going to make it through to the final of this year’s Eurovision.

 During last night’s semi-final, a tweeter to the BBC suggested that Bulgaria’s Poli Genova with her peroxide quiff was “Jedward’s mum” while the Danish lead singer sported an up-do that was so Jedward inspired he could be an honorary member of the Order of the Jedhead.

It was tense, though. We’d to wait a long – sometimes excruciating – time for their performance; 18 songs before John and Edward Grimes in their red, sparkly spaceman jackets leaped on the massive stage in Düsseldorf, danced, high-fived, somersaulted and sang Lipstick. It was brilliant.

Throughout the evening the backdrop on the stage dazzled with shifting shapes, fizzing pyrotechnics, bursts of colour, the inevitable sea of dry ice and an eyeball wrenching overuse of strobe lighting, but the staging for the Irish entry was, by Eurovision standards, decidedly hip.

It looked fantastic. Giant pumping graphics of the boys, flashing images and all in red, black and white to match the outfits of the twins and their backing singers.

Few other performers used the stage or the potential of the backing screen so well.

The other twins in the competition, the Twiins from Slovakia, overdid the wind machine and there was the inevitable girl on a unicycle and blokes who looked like they escaped from the circus.

Eurovision veteran Marty Whelan commented for RTÉ, and remarked that no matter how confident you are, it’s still nerve-wracking. He kept cool throughout, though, not overdoing the sarcasm because sometimes when there’s so much schlock pop on stage it’s too easy.

In a nice homely touch, at one point he advised “only three more ’til Jedward, so if you’re making tea, make it now.”

The voting system seemed to be on the complex side – a jury votes and then the telephone and text votes of the public across Europe are added. Marty Whelan kept cautioning viewers only to vote during a specific window or the votes wouldn’t be counted and on the BBC viewers were reminded that people in the UK couldn’t vote in the semi-finals at all. Curiously people were allowed vote before the first act even hit the stage.

The results when they came – after an amazing interval act of a troupe breakdancing to Bach – came via envelope. There’s no live juries, dramatic pauses and waiting for douze points at the semi-final stage. We were put out of our misery early as Jedward were one of the first acts to go through to the final.

On BBC Three the coverage included Twitter and Facebook input, which livened up proceedings.

“Ich bin ein Jedhead” was one, while several UK viewers texted in their support for the duo. Let’s hope the support continues for the final on Saturday. If the production is as slick as last night, it’s going to be some show.