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Are Jedward gay? The stars of X Factor and Eurovision who style themselves on Prince

Emma Finamore April 25, 2018
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(Bengt Nyman)

X Factor and Eurovision stars Jedward have been quizzed on their sexuality as long as they’ve been in the public eye.

John and Edward Grimes, born in October 1991, first found fame in 2008 on the X Factor, going on to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest the following year.

Despite being the subject of ridicule from some quarters – as well as the subject of gossip – their fans include Pixie Lott and Robbie Williams.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron even said that Jedward were his favourite X Factor act, and that he owned a t-shirt with their faces on it.

In one poll, the brothers were voted to be a better boy band than The Beatles.

Jedward at the LA Marathon in 2012 (Michael Dorausch/Flickr)

Related: Jedward ‘not gay’, says tour manager

It is important to note that while some research suggests a genetic link to sexuality, it is entirely possible that the twins do not share the same sexuality.

They work and promote themselves as a duo, but Jeward is actually two distinct individuals with their own distinct sexual identities.

When it comes to rumours though, the popsters are very much thought of as a single entity.

In 2011 their then-manager, Liam McKenna, spoke publicly about how – despite speculation – the duo like girls but won’t discuss sex on TV in case their grandmother finds out.

According to Digital Spy, he said: “They are really shy. I’m sure they do fancy girls but don’t like talking about sex as they’re probably aware that their granny is watching.”

McKenna added that at the time the twins idolised evangelical Christian pop stars the Jonas Brothers.

He said: “The Jonas Brothers are their idols and they said they didn’t want sex before marriage. I think the boys live their life by these guys.”

 

Jedward first entered Eurovision in 2011 (Frédéric de Villamil)

Related: Jedward lookalike fined after stealing vibrator ‘for his own use’

At the time, the pair were appearing on Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother.

Fellow contestant Darryn Lyons had quizzed them about their sexuality but Jedward told him that although they hadn’t had girlfriends, they were not gay.

That same year the twins appeared in the Gay Times, as they were preparing to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest.

As well as scrapping their signature quiffs for a different look in the magazine’s shoot, they discussed sexuality rumours.

John said: “It happened to Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers… you’ve got to realise what comes with being in the public eye.

“We don’t mind if people call us gay, it’s not a big deal.”

More recently – in 2017 – Jedward spoke to the Sun about the rumours, saying that the questions might be raised due to their on-stage persona.

Edward said: “We meet girls all the time. Our fans have always known who we are. But others know a different type of Jedward from the different shows.

Jedward at X Factor Live in 2010 (Jonathan L Gardner)

“I think because on stage we wear sequins people go ‘oh they must be a bit out there.'”

“We never tone ourselves down. We’re not lad lads but we’re comfortable enough to just be on stage and do Prince vibes.”

They claim to have had long-term relationships but have not divulged who they were with.

They’ve also spoken specifically about women and sex.

John boasted about his sexual prowess to the Sun: “I can definitely go for longer than an hour.

“If I can perform on stage for almost three hours – performing in the bedroom is nothing to me.”

Edward went into detail about what he looks for in a woman: “I am looking for someone who can make me happy – who gets me and embraces all my different sides and knows that I’m a performer and entertainer.

Jeward performing in 2016 (Okras)

Related: Will Young reveals he was told his singing voice was ‘too gay’ after winning Pop Idol

“They need to know that they don’t always need to be on the red carpet. I like mysteriousness in a woman.

“I want someone who has something going on in their eyes – and I want someone with a brain. What really attracts me to a girl is their soul.”

The performers shot to fame in 2008 when they appeared on the X Factor.

Like Marmite from the start, Simon Cowell described them as “not very good and incredibly annoying” but Louis Walsh stood by them and put them through into the final 12.

After their departure from the show, Jedward were signed to Modest! Management, before being taken on by Louis Walsh.

In 2010 the twins performed as part of the X Factor Live Tour, where they were credited with a boost in demand for tickets that led to an extension in the tour’s run.

The same year they released their debut single, “Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby).” The track was a mash-up of “Under Pressure” and “Ice Ice Baby”, with Vanilla Ice contributing guest vocals.

Conchita Wurst at the Eurovision Song Contest (Nigel Treblin/Getty)

As well as finding chart success with other singles and albums, Jedward took part in 2011’s Eurovision Song Contest, eventually finishing in eighth place. They also took part the following year, finishing 19th.

Alongside their music careers, the twins have pursued TV, modelling and even pantomime (brilliantly appeared as ‘fairy godbrothers’ in a production of Cinderella), as well as doing lots of work for charities such as the  the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Comic Relief, Sport Relief and Children in Need.

Jedward also played at the annual LGBT+ event, Durham Pride in 2017.

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