JEDWARD as expert jury members at Junior Eurovision 2016

I do like the idea of expert jury members.

I do know that Jedward is popular and would give Junior Eurovision a higher profile.
But is the choice of these two brothers a good idea as expert jury members? My answer is no for the following reasons
01 – First they are brothers and as such would have more or less the same taste and so it is like doubling the chances of those songs they like. Luckily I was informed that they will have just one vote as JEDWARD and not as two separate individuals.
02 – They are just too energetic and could make some of the smaller and shyer children feel out – they sort of dominate with their presence and may push many of the actual singers in the background. I remember their press conference in Baku where they jumped from table to table and chair to chair all over the press conference hall.
03 – They are from a participating country and could favour the entry from their home country – Ireland.
04 – I also believe they were involved in the Irish selection and so to me this sounds like a conflict of interest.
I would rather have them during the interval act and got someone else from a non participating country to be an expert jury member – Zoe from Austria or Laura from Belgium come to mind.

This is my personal opinion and anybody is free to agree or disagree with me.


  1. Ronny Addamo says:

    I completely agree with you Roy. How could they be a jury member if their own song (practically) is competing? Not to mention that they can barely hold a tune themselves. Both times they competed in Eurovision the backing vocalists did the majority of the work!

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      Ronny I did not want to go that far by saying how can someone who cannot sing well themselves be used to judge whether others sing well or not.

  2. I think the inclusion of John and Edward is a great move, as it will raise the profile of the event considerably. I’d also like to add, that the twins have hosted two children’s TV series, one for the BBC and one for RTE in Ireland, so have experience of working with children.
    Their press conference in Baku was about them, and so they were entitled to demand attention. This will be a totally different scenario.
    They took part in the early stages of the Irish selection, and were extremely competent, interacting well with the children in a very encouraging way. I don’t think it will be a conflict of interest for them, anymore than any other judge, especially as the winner of their heat did not progress to the final.
    Lastly, I would like to address the assumption that they are unable to sing, by directing you to their YouTube channel JedwardTV where you can see John perform an excellent live and uncut cover of Dancing on My Own, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
    For the last 3 years John and Edward have written and produced all their own music, along with filming, directing and editing their own music videos.
    I think this, along with their love of Eurovision and experience in the competition, makes them ideal judges.

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      Jane, as you have seen I have answered extensive on another comment over Jedward. I am very different when it comes to most people who simply ignore e-mails or messages they dislike. I personally reply to every one and in great detail as you will see. It like people to react – both sides of a story. I just stand by my view that what I witnessed in Baku was just too much, I was almost unable to follow as they were like acrobats all over the press hall. yes it is 4 years later and maybe they have matured. As I have said, they do raise the profile of Junior Eurovision but the focus here should be on those little children singers.

      • Thank you for your reply, Yes they have matured a lot in the last four years. Hopefully you will be pleasently surprised by their ability and impartiality as judges, as many were by their ability in the Irish selection.

  3. Lisa Hafey says:

    Hi Roy! This is also my opinion, so hopefully you’ll approve it.

    Find a copy of Jedward’s Lipstick with their vocals in isolation (I don’t have a link to hand but there’s stuff out there online) and you’ll find that they can not only hold a tune but they can hold it well. The backing vocals being heard over their voices was not their fault but maybe a lack of confidence on the part of the sound tech. Fans – and yes we are biased, but a lot of us are older and also have wide-ranging taste in music, so we do know what we’re talking about – know that John and Edward can sing live, and sing well.

    Second – your comments re their energy at the Press Comference in Baku. That was for that particular audience. It was expected they would perform like that. They gave them what they wanted. I recommend you go watch their judging of the Irish JESC entry this year (they judged heat 1). It’s on YouTube. They were calm and respectful, they listened to each contestant giving each one equal consideration. They also met with each contestant ahead of time and reassured them. They are actually very quiet and shy people in real life – and they know how to act around similar people. What you see as “Jedward” is mostly performance.

    Third – they write and produce their own music and have done for the past 3 years. They also have a far wider musical knowledge than anyone I know – I’m a music journalist myself, but if they recommend I listen to a particular artist, I do it. I’ve just bought all of One Republic’s albums on their recommendation!

    Fourth – and this is what I find very sad – the assumption that they will automatically be biased towards their own country’s entry. They have minds of their own, and are able to listen to all of the artists without consideration of nationality, but instead on the merits of each song.

    In summary – why have they been considered experts? Because they are. Oh and I’m sure if you ask Christer Bjorkman what he thinks of them he might say similar.

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      Lisa, yes I see no reason why not approve your comment

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      Actually I differ from most people and that is that I like it to have different views, even if they are radical different from mine. I will go to Kiev nezt year for my 25th Eurovision in a row and I think I do have some experience. Going to Malta is actually my first Junior and so I just thought if there are expert jury members, I would like them to be from countries more neutral. For me EUROVISION is a song contest and not an ARTIST contest and I listen ony to the songs.My points of view is always – the best singer cannot make a bad song good, and the worst singer cannot really destroy a good song. I also get South African artists to COVER Euro songs and we have COVERED LIPSTICK in AFRIKAANS. In fact I gave Jedward a copy of it in Baku.The Afrikaans version is called DIS VERBY (It’s over).

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      Taste differ and it is so individual and I will never forget Eurovision 2008 when I absolutely went hysercial over the Latvia song WOLVES OF THE SEA by PIRATES IF THE SEA and various fans walked up to me and say how could I possibly publicly say this is fantastic. They all raved over a song from Portugal wand on the final night Latvia ended 2 or 3 places higher than Portugal. That song, forgot the title, I had heard 50 or so times and still cannot recall one note of it.

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      About them favouring IRELAND, unfortunately this is the perception with so many. I have friends in various European countries and they almost always like their own entry even if I think it is a horror – it is like people will look strange at them if they hate their own entry. I am the president of a Eurovision fanclub and we have just voted in a VIDEO CONTEST organised by Germany. Now 40 of the Australian members of the club voted and all 40 had the entry of Australia either 1, 2 or 3. This is why I love being from a NON PARTICIPATING country so I can say what I like without any feat. MY favourite country of Europe is LATVIA and even they had horrors and I tell them to the delegation and they know it, they always say yes we know we picked a song this year you won’t like.

      • Lisa Hafey says:

        Thank you for publishing my reply :)) it’s the opinion of a lot of people yes, that John and Edward can’t possibly be impartial with regard to the Irish entry, but it’s really unfounded, as they have shown this to be the case in the past in previous years of the Eurovision Song Contest – in 2013 they publicly favoured the Swedish entry over Ireland. It’s true, they did have photos with the Irish entry in 2014, but that was not necessarily an endorsement, it was a photo opportunity as they were also in Copenhagen. In 2015 they didn’t offer an opinion on the Irish song, even though they were asked, and this year they stayed a very long way from any comment on it.

        I wonder if I might have met you in Baku! I can’t match your 25 consecutive ESCs, as I’ve only gone to 4 (Baku was my first – I didn’t go this year and won’t be going to Kiev either) – maybe they should invite you to be an expert judge :)

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      I have nothing against Jedward, I met them in 2011 (Dusseldorf) and even took them energy bars from South Africa and in 2012 in Baku and again saw them from a distance in Copenhagen 2014 – I was not in a good mood in Copenhagen – Denmark rated as my 4th most liked European country and through what I experienced there, they dropped to second last position yest in 2016 their entry SOLDIERS OF LOVE was my second favourite song.

    • Roy van der Merwe says:

      I did this post because I wanted people to talk – good or bad – because I think that is what a music journalist should do. And you now brought us the other side of the issue and I am very thankful for that.

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