X Factor's John and Edward: Terrible twins or the next big thing?

From the moment John and Edward burst onto the X Factor stage with their faux-American accents and questionable singing ability, TV viewers have been obsessed with the two spiky-haired teenagers from Dublin.

Six months ago, they were completely unknown, with little more than a few talent contests under their belts. Now they are the talk of the tabloids -- and chat rooms.



The singing siblings have beaten thousands of wannabe stars and made it to the last 12 of ITV's flagship weekend show. But not all the X Factor judges were as impressed as their mentor Louis Walsh -- Simon Cowell famously branded them "vile little creatures" on the show.



In reality, identical twin brothers John Paul and Edward Grimes (17) from Lucan, Co Dublin, are well brought-up, middle-class boys. They went to King's Hospital, one of the country's most expensive schools, which charges €1,910 per term. They are currently enrolled at Dublin's Institute of Education, where fees are €6,950 for an academic year.



Their odyssey began in June, when the duo travelled to Glasgow for the first round of auditions for the show and made it through the gruelling boot camp before surviving another round at Louis Walsh's X Factor getaway in Tuscany. Since then, they have been busy honing their act. Tomorrow they will learn if they have progressed to the next stage when they perform in front of a live TV audience in London.



The Grime brothers wooed the Irish pop mogul with their rendition of the Backstreet Boys song 'As Long As You Love Me' when they first appeared on the show. Dannii Minogue (below) dismissed them as "the cockiest singers without a record deal" after their performance.



The first impression they left on the show's token grouch Simon Cowell was less then flattering. "They're vile little creatures who would step on their mother's head to have a hit," he said.



Echoing Cowell's thoughts, the twins' inclusion as one of the 12 X Factor finalists has been met with an enormous online backlash. A staggering 400 groups have been set up on social networking site Facebook with over 100,000 members calling for the brothers to be axed from the TV show.



Online support for the duo is not so impressive -- only 1,800 people have signed up to pledge their allegiance to them.



Among the mountain of comments left on Facebook, user Kate referred to the twins as "obnoxious, irritating little brats". Comments left on other pages are equally scathing: one member, Ben, pleaded "for the most insufferable contestants of all time to be shown the door".



However, their father John Grimes was quick to hit back at his sons' doubters. "My lads are great. We are all really proud of them and behind them 100pc," he said.



The twins' former athletics coach Ann McGee told the Irish Independent she got the impression that they have been putting on an act with the hope of gaining a place in the final. "From my experience they're lovely lads, and I think they are probably playing up to the camera," she said.



Jim D'Arcy, principal at the Institute of Education on Leeson St, Dublin, agreed: "I think their persona on the show must be a bit staged because they're not arrogant or anything like that, but it is getting them a lot of publicity."



The brothers have their own explanation for the polarising effect they have on viewers: "We're like frosted flakes -- some people are afraid to admit they like us," they told an Irish newspaper.



The public's long-standing fascination with the legions of fame-hungry contestants who have auditioned for the X Factor -- which is now in its sixth season -- has always been fickle.



One minute, they are the darlings of tabloid newspapers, plastered to the bedroom walls of an army of teenage girls, selling out stadium concerts and signing highly lucrative endorsement deals. Then, in an instant, they fade into obscurity.



For major record labels, the reality TV format is one way to guarantee profitability in the age of illegal file-sharing and dwindling CD sales. The incredible popularity of programmes such as X Factor, Pop Idol and Britain's Got Talent is a boon to the ailing music industry. It's certainly a much more cost-effective way of doing business than the old model of a record company investing in and nurturing an artist from scratch.



The modern formula seems a much better bet for record company executives as the acts essentially pay for themselves, through phone-in voting, merchandise, etc.



Are the Grimes brothers any different? Louis Walsh said that from a marketing point of view the brothers have the potential to make it in the cut-throat industry of disposable reality TV pop stars.



"They're not great singers, but they could be great pop stars," he said when asked if he thought they had what it takes to make it. He added: "It's a great marketing opportunity as we've never had identical twins make it so far in the show."



Whatever your opinion of the 'Brothers Grim', as a British tabloid dubbed them, they have made their mark.



It remains to be seen if Edward and John Grimes will end up headlining the O2 or playing weddings and kids' parties, but the world of reality TV will no doubt have many more willing participants to take their place should their 15 minutes of fame run out.



Source: The Belfast Telegraph

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
News
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
people
News
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?