The 22nd August is an auspicious time in the lives of Jedward fans, as it marks the date that John and Edward Grimes (and together they were John and Edward) first appeared on UK and Irish TV. We’ve covered the occasion most years, and seen the Dublin twins go from strength to strength, and become woven even more firmly into the fabric of public consciousness.
Since this time last year, John and Edward have released two new singles – ‘Hologram’, in October, and ‘Oxygen’, in January. They held a special concert at London’s O2 Academy to celebrate their 25th birthday, on 16 October. In 2017, due to other work commitments, they’ve had only one full concert, at Dublin’s Button Factory in February, but they’ve also performed at Scottish venues The Polo Club and The Savoy Club, and were the main attraction at the South Tyneside Festival, in South Shields, last month.
It’s been a big year for seeing Jedward on TV, with the pair finishing in second place behind Coleen Nolan in the winter series of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, and their third appearance on ‘Pointless Celebrities’ was finally screened in April, after being recorded last year.
John and Edward let the public see into their private lives in Lucy Kennedy’s series, ‘Living With Lucy’, a programme which showed them to be the mature, work-focused adults that fans have always known and loved.
This autumn will see an even more intimate look at them, as we follow their quest to find love, on MTVs new series, ‘Single AF’ (Single. Available. Famous). Set to be screened in 62 countries, the show focuses on John and Edward’s separate journeys to love – as well as those of YouTuber Elliot Crawford, Marnie Simpson from MTVs ‘Geordie Shore’, former boyband member Casey Cody Johnson, drag queen Courtney Act, and Farrah Abraham, most famous for ‘Teen Mom’. The show sent the singletons around the world, including Australia, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and Italy to name a few locations, with a week long stay in a Chateau in the countryside outside Paris. The programme is the first time the pair have worked separately, and it’ll be interesting to see how the public respond to knowing John, and Edward, as individuals. The multi-episodic MTV Single AF is set to air from the end of October.
Jedward were also in ‘Sharknado 5: Global Swarming’, now becoming an annual fixture in the sharks vs tornados franchise. This year’s role saw the pair acting as named characters: in ‘Sharknado 3’ they played themselves, the following year they were ‘”Astro Techs”. This year Edward played “Cameron”, while John was “Mick”. Once again they managed to escape the jaws of the sharks, and so with Sharknado 6 a certainty, it’s hoped they will make a fourth appearance.
In April this year John and Edward visited Amsterdam for the first VidCon Europe convention, where they sat in on seminars and met up with fans and other video content creators.
John and Ed spent a lot of time with their close friend Ed Sheeran at the beginning of this year, with the ‘Shape Of You’ singer telling The Irish Sun that “it’s weird” if you don’t like them:
“I love Jedward. It’s like a puppy, there is no way you can dislike Jedward.
“There is no side to them at all that’s nasty – they are just nice. For people not to like them is weird.”
The three firm friends met up in Glasgow where they were all performing on the same night, and made a video which perfectly sums up their relationship:
John and Edward have further cemented themselves into the history of Eurovision, by being judges at not only the Irish heats for Junior Eurovision, but also as judges at the Junior Eurovision final, held in Valetta, Malta, last November. They will return again this year as judges in the Irish heats, when the country makes its third tilt at the Junior Eurovision crown.
As they turn 26 this year, we can only hope that there’ll be more acceptance of the mature Jedward, and that they will continue to surprise us, enthrall us, and maybe even shock us – with what they have planned for the next year. One thing we know for sure, as in the paraphrased lyrics of their song, ‘Free Spirit’:
“Nothing can get them down
No barriers can stop them now
They’ve got the power in their hearts
These guys are free spirits”
So here’s to eight years of Jedward, and many many more to come!
(Originally published on Essentially Pop)