Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009

There's something about Jedward

By Judith Cummings
BBC NI News

John and Edward

Simon Cowell has threatened to leave the country if they win, but Cheryl Cole admitted they were her guilty pleasure.

If X Factor finalists John and Edward have a gift, it seems it is the ability to divide opinion.

If the acts on The X Factor were judged like the dancers on Strictly Come Dancing, there is little doubt that Jedward would be bottom of the leader board week after week.

However, for the last four weeks the Irish teenagers have been saved from elimination by the public vote.

When the twins first appeared on our screens at the audition stage we laughed.

We sniggered at their seemingly unfounded confidence and were astounded as they were voted through to the boot camp stage.

They were entertaining, but surely even Louis Walsh, who was to mentor the groups, couldn't bring them to the live shows, even if they were Irish.

Louis obviously saw something the rest of the judges did not, and Jedward have been delighting and terrifying in equal amounts on Saturday nights.

The hair, which seems to get higher each week, the outfits, who can forget the red PVC, the dance routines, which neither can get quite right, and of course the singing - all of which appear to combine to make the X Factor.

Or so it seems for a certain section of the phone-voting public.

Chico Slimani
Chico had a number one single after appearing on The X Factor

Social networking sites are overloaded with sites dedicated to John and Edward.

Those vowing to keep them in till the end, and those shouting for their elimination appear in equal measure.

We know they are not the greatest singers, the judges like to point that out just in case we thought there was a fault with our televisions, but Louis Walsh champions them each week.

But it is even in dispute that they even have the "likeability factor" Louis so often talks about on the show.

So how far can they go in the competition?

The most notable act lauded for the entertainment, rather than the talent, factor was Chico in series 2 of The X Factor.

He came fifth and even ended up with a number one single.

Could Jedward achieve that success?

More, say some, there is even talk they could make it all the way to the final.

In a year when there are no break-out performers like Leona Lewis, or last year's winner Alexandra Burke, the final does seem a realistic goal for the Dublin teenagers.



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