herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

Healy denies hypocrisy in attack on twins

THE songwriter who dismissed Eurovision hopefuls Jedward as "a joke" has denied accusations of hypocrisy after it emerged that he had written a song for the twins.

Composer Shay Healy hit the headlines earlier this week when he claimed that John and Edward Grimes would not be able to sing if selected to compete in the Eurovision. And he said they would be dismissed as a joke by other European countries.

Yet his comments were described as hypocritical by Spotlight Productions' Stuart O'Connor, who produced the hugely successful Cinderella panto in which Jedward starred over Christmas. Stuart told the Herald: "Shay Healy said that Jedward won't be able to sing live at Eurovision and of course they would have to sing live.

"They're two great, hardworking guys and they are brilliant performers. If Shay believes they can't sing, then why did he submit a song for them?"

Stuart said the composer sent one of his own songs to Spotlight Productions last year, with a view to it being included as a set piece in the panto.

He added: "It's hypocritical. If he's saying now that they can't sing, then why did he write a song for them to sing last year?"

Shay Healy hit back at the claims, pointing out: "It's perfectly true that I submitted a song for the twins, but it was written to be recited by them rather than sung. It's basically an account of who they are, where they came from and what they're about.

"I had actually written a song about Peter And Paul The Penguin Twins for a children's play which I was doing with Michael Scott".





Terrible

He told the Herald that when the original play didn't go ahead, he decided to rewrite the lyrics with Jedward in mind.

"I have no objection to two kids who are having a good time and jumping around and making money and who are a huge hit with kids,"he said.

"But I think sending them to the Eurovision at the expense of proper singers is a bad idea. I think it's a terrible indictment, it's a lost chance for a songwriter and singer to appear on the international stage.

"I'm a huge fan of the Eurovision, I think it's a fantastic show and I love it. But we keep coming up with gimmicks and Europe doesn't get the joke.

"Last year, I don't think Niamh Kavanagh's song was strong enough but at least she showed what a good singer can do."

afinneran@herald.ie

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