X Factor Twins John and Edward Shame a Nation

Sometimes it’s the awful contestants on TV talent shows that make viewers come back each week. So maybe Simon Cowell was making a smart business decision when he put the vocally-challenged John and Edward, a.k.a. Jedward, through to the next round on his UK “singing competition,” X Factor.

Watch Jedward’s performance of the Ghostbusters theme below, and I guarantee you that you’ve never seen anything this fun (or as Cheryl Cole says, “fooon”) on American Idol:

Compare that performance to that of the person who got eliminated this week, Lucie Jones.

OK, she has a serviceable voice, but please. Snooze. Get thee to the county fair sing-off.

If you were on Twitter this weekend, you may have seen the term “Jedward” trending. Here’s why: thousands of British viewers stormed the social media sites after Sunday’s results show to express their anger that Jedward had been saved and Lucie Jones sent home.

Kinda makes you wonder if “Vote for the Worst” has a UK branch. Oh wait: there is. VoteFortheWorst.com has been passionately campaigning for Jedward to stay in the competition, and yesterday, they celebrated their victory: “While this destroys the show’s, Simon’s (and probably the entire UK’s) credibility, Euro-Worsters will have to vote even harder next week in order to keep the twins on and make Simon rue the day he saved them. VFTW Victory!”

Pundits in the UK, however, have not been kind to Jedward or to the show. The Daily Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick implies that Jedward are the best of a very bland group of hopefuls: “Is this really the best Britain can do? There are only weeks to go before the grand finale, the show has whittled its contestants down to a final seven, and the only spectacular thing about them is their averageness…And if this is a search for a future pop superstar with an abundance of charisma and a special gift for interpretation and communication, then the failure of anyone but the aforementioned Jedward to even raise the pulse of the nation is a pretty damning indictment of their collective charisma bypass.”

The Guardian‘s Vicky Frost says Jedward have damaged Cowell and the X Factor brand: “Jedward are still totally ridiculous, but have now seen off a rather good earnest X Factor singer, and count Cowell among their fans. By saving them, Cowell has not only destroyed Jedward’s appeal – he has chipped away at the program’s too.”

In other news:

  • Cheryl Cole wasn’t wearing her wedding ring during this weekend’s episodes of X Factor.
  • This hasn’t been a good week for Cheryl’s husband, Ashley: the footballer may be sidelined for weeks with a broken tibia.(Telegraph)
  • Robert Carlyle says there hasn’t been a great British film since 1996′s Trainspotting, which starred, not insignificantly, Robert Carlyle.(Daily Record)
  • Kate Winslet is worth £60 million to the British economy, according to an algorithm that calculates a star’s value. As The Guardian reports, “The formula calculated that the actor had earned £20m from her acting roles since starring in Sense and Sensibility back in 1995. However, it also credits her stardom as a key factor in boosting UK-based film production. According to the study, the ‘production investment effect’ of casting Winslet in a British picture is worth £34.4m.”
  • British artist Jane Perkins has used recycled items to create portraits of celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth II and the Obamas.(Telegraph)
  • A total idiot threw a plastic bottle at Morrissey during a Liverpool concert, hitting the singer in the eye and causing him to end the show. The Guardian asks, “Was Morrissey right to walk offstage?” Most fans say yes.
  • Does that explain the bad wigs?: Serena Williams says Victoria Beckham is her style icon.(The Sun)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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