10 reasons why Jedward can return us to Eurovision glory
SOME might consider them to be a laughing stock on a par with Dustin and his trolley, but I'm firmly hitching my wagon to the Jedward juggernaut as a realistic prospect for the Eurovision crown.
Following their Eurosong success, I'm feeling the first sense of hope that our 15 years of Eurovision wilderness might be about to come to an end.
Mock not -- John and Edward Grimes may just be our great white-quiffed hope, and here's 10 good reasons why:
1. Nobody Does It Better
Ironically, ABBA changed the Eurovision landscape in 1974 when they performed Waterloo in homemade glam rock get-ups.
Since then, as the quality of the songs has descended, the dependence on low-rent camp spectacle rocketed. And nobody does this better than Jedward (YouTube their X Factor performance of Ghostbusters for absolute proof).
2. Charm of the Irish
Despite the fact that they can neither sing or dance, Jedward's act is bizarrely loveable.
They'll be on the charm offensive and Europe may just fall under their weird and wired spell. Sure, bejaysus, aren't they like a loveable pair of leprechauns with quiffs, dancing at the crossroads?
3. The Greatest Hits
Jedward are already a Youtube phenomenon, so the audiences voting in May already know and understand their pop- cultural references. Alas, they never stood a chance with the unintelligible Dustin...
4. Twin Peaks
Last year saw 39 countries competing in the Eurovision, each hoping to stand out from the crowd. If Jedward are one thing at all, it's memorable. They've styled themselves to stick in the mind and this uniqueness will help them to shine on the leaderboard.
5. Underdogs Once More
When Ireland won Eurovision for the first time in 1970, we were barely a blip on the European radar. A vote for Dana was a vote for everyone who identified with the underdog. Guess what? We're back there again. Jedward, with their boundless optimism in the face of blanket criticism are a couple of underdogs who might have their day.
6. The Mr Bean Factor
During the early 1990s, Mr Bean crossed all cultural boundaries to become the single most popular TV show in Europe. Why? Because he didn't speak -- he just did stupid things. Jedward have that Mr Bean thing going on big time.
The slapstick physicality of their act, all that endless jumping around and bumping into things, appeals across the board.
7 The Voting Demographic
A love song by a guy with a fiddle might not float their boats, but make that guy incredibly goodlooking (not to mention the winner of an X Factor-like show in his native Norway) and you have the 2009 winner, Alexander Rybak -- voted for by girls aged between 15 and 25. Young girls have created a career for Jedward in Ireland and the UK. They'll probably lap them up in Europe too.
8 With Walsh On Their Side
While you marvel over Louis Walsh's sadly mismanaged hair on The X Factor, it's easy to forget that he's the manager of a boyband that has sold over 44 million albums and is the second most successful pop act of all time in the UK -- Westlife. He wouldn't allow his proteges anywhere near Eurovision if he didn't think they had what it takes.
9 The X Factory
With the X Factor, Simon Cowell inflicted upon us a Eurovision every weekend. It has all the hallmarks -- questionable acts, big performances, patriotism, and the big voting hook at the end. Jedward lasted for seven weeks on The X Factor. It was perhaps the best possible training for Eurovision so they'll have fans eating out of the palms of their hands.
10 Fresh-faced Novelty
Lordi were the last novelty act to win the Eurovision in 2006. Since then we've had a lot of fresh-faced kids, like this year's 19-year-old German winner, Lena, bouncing about the stage singing upbeat, happy-clappy songs. Combine novelty and fresh-faced bouncy youth, and what do you have? Jedward.
They tick almost every Eurovision box there is, apart from the fact they won't be able to sing a standard Euro ballad, but who needs sad songs in this time of European crisis?