Jedward baffle all to become favourites

LOOKING through your fingers as the nation’s artistic reputation is dragged further down the gutter?

Believe that anything — yes, even Dustin the Turkey — is less cringe-worthy for Ireland? Considering handing back your passport?

Then take our advice: stay away from any form of media this evening.

Jedward — the Dublin twins with pseudo American accents who can’t sing, dance or do anything, really — are set to continue their baffling rise to fame tonight with bookmakers placing them among the favourites to win Eurovision 2011.

If they do, the Grimes brothers will join the likes of Riverdance (worldwide sell-out tours), Johnny Logan (three-time winner who has released 19 albums) and Dana (the less said the better) in Irish Eurovision history.

However, the path to success is not completely clear just yet for the bizarre Lucan duo who Simon Cowell once described as “vile little creatures”.

Apart from battling it out on stage in Dusseldorf this evening, the Irish prospects have been warned to stay on alert for the possibility of an extremist terror attack.

The comment came from their close confidant Louis Walsh but, for once, the music mogul’s eye-catching words have more than a hint of truth to them.

In recent days German police have put in place armed protection around the Melia hotel where Jedward are staying because it is also the temporary home of Israeli entrant and 1998 winner Dana International, with whom the Dublin pair have struck up a friendship.

The security measure is deemed necessary as Eurovision organisers fear the possibility of a terrorist attack on the Israeli representative in the country where 11 athletes from the same nation were murdered during an attack in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Mr Walsh said the Dublin twins have been warned to cut back on their usual public hi-jinks.

“They have been told to leave nothing to chance and to be extra careful when it comes to doing what they’re told by security staff.

“They’re used to running around, talking to everyone and spending ages posing for pics. But they can’t be as easygoing in Germany. There’s an armed security team outside their hotel the whole time because Dana International’s staying there,” he said.

German authorities originally released limited information about a Eurovision-linked terrorism investigation on April 29 — the same day as the royal wedding — in order to limit publicity about the possible threat.

More than 2,500 journalists are covering this year’s Eurovision event in Dusseldorf, with anyone attending tonight’s finale needing to go through security checks such as airport-type body scanners, metal detectors and repeated ID examinations.

Almost €300,000 has been wagered on Jedward at the Betfair betting agency, with the Irish entrant’s odds shortening considerably from 49/1 to 6/1 over the past week.

William Hill could face a seven figure pay-out if they win Eurovision outright, while Paddy Power has given odds of 5/2 on the pair showing Europe they do have the x-factor.

Meanwhile, RTÉ figures show 757,700 people watched Thursday’s two-hour semi-final, compared to an average of 440,400 last year.

Jedward will be the sixth of 10 contestants to perform in the final tonight, with the French, Azerbaijani and British entrants believed to be their main rivals.

Tune in

ICH bin ein Jedhead: where to watch Ireland’s Dusseldorf duo tonight

- The Cork Midsummer Festival will be holding a Eurovision party at The Bailey bar in the heart of Cork city when Jedward take to the stage. Attendees are asked to dress up as their favourite contestant, so expect a hair-raising experience.

- The Kremlin on Donegal Street in Belfast, which is the city’s biggest gay bar, will be holding a Europarty complete with free “Bucks Fizz” drinks.

- RTÉ meteorologist Jean Byrne will be hoping it doesn’t rain on Ireland’s Eurovision parade (we warned you there would be more puns) at the Pantibar in Capel Street, Dublin, where a dress code of “Eurotrash chic and offensive national stereotypes” is recommended.

Picture: Kyran O’Brien



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