Their first single, "Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)" featuring Vanilla Ice, was released on 31 January 2010. They performed the song as a duet with Vanilla Ice at the National Television Awards ceremony on 20 January 2010. The single will be on Sony Music in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Jedward are now managed by The X Factor judge Louis Walsh.
Twin brothers John and Edward were born to computer technician John Sr. and teacher Susanna, in Ireland, and were raised in Rathangan. They have one brother, law student Kevin. John and Susanna separated when the twins were ten years old, and their sons moved with their mother in Lucan a suburb in Dublin, while their father lives in Rathangan. The boys have maintained a close relationship with both.
The twins attended Scoil Bhríde National School in Rathangan and then King’s Hospital School for four years, but were constantly bullied for their love of pop music, until they were moved to the Institute of Education. During their school years, they had competed in school talent shows, and were inspired by Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and Justin Timberlake. John and Edward are also athletes—as members of Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club (DSD) in Dublin, they have competed in several tournaments in Ireland. In addition, the twins worked briefly as games testers for Windows and Xbox 360 format holder Microsoft.
In 2009, Jedward (then called John & Edward) appeared as a group at The X Factor auditions in Glasgow. Speaking in what judge Simon Cowell described as American accents, the twins yelled to the amused crowd, "Who wouldn't want girls shouting your name all over the place?", when asked by Louis Walsh why they wanted to be pop stars. Cowell cut off their somewhat off-key rendition of As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys after one verse, and described John "incredibly annoying." Although Cowell voted "no", his collegues Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and Walsh decided they had potential.
John & Edward progressed to the live shows in the series, and were mentored by Walsh. The twins received some negative press on social networking sites such as facebook, but had an equal amount of fans that led to the duo surviving until week seven of the competition.
On 26 October the twins were criticised for performing what was referred to as a "lewd" dance act at a window of the house where the X Factor contestants resided. The pair, who were naked save for a pair of boxers, grabbed their crotches while performing a Michael Jackson dance routine. The move was made in response to female fans outside exposing their breasts at the two brothers.
On 8 November, following a rendition of the Ghostbusters theme tune, John & Edward found themselves in the bottom two alongside fellow contestant Lucie Jones - both were in the position for the first time. Cowell, who had the casting vote that night, decided to take the decision to deadlock. This resulted in Jones being sent home, despite rave reviews of her performance from the judges the previous night. Jones later said that the twins were "racked with guilt" over Cowell's decision, and have since apologised to her.
During Queen week, while Jedward sang a mash-up of Under Pressure and Ice Ice Baby, Calvin Harris ran onto the stage with a pineapple on his head (poking fun at their quiffs), before being wrestled out of the bulding by security men in an episode which was later hailed as "the most exciting X Factor ever".Shortly after the incident, Jedward were accused of having their singing drowned out by backing vocals, in a bid to hide their lack of singing talent. Producers of the show have denied the twins were given extra help.
On 22 November, John & Edward were eliminated from competition, after losing out in the judges' vote to Over-25s contestant Olly Murs when both acts were in the bottom two. When the voting figures were revealed after the end of the show, it was revealed that they received more votes than Murs. It was also shown that they were never in the top three of any public vote, contrary to newspaper reports that they gained the most votes in week three.
Jedward have been subjects of commentary, both pro and con, on social networking websites and in the media. Many celebrities have also commented on the Jedward phenomenon. Their fans include Calvin Harris, Andy Murray, Peaches Geldof, Pixie Lott, Westlife and Robbie Williams. Politicians in the UK and Ireland have commented, and Conservative Party head David Cameron opted to buy their t-shirt and has said they were his favourite in the competition. This fact was marked when the two leading British political parties, Labour and the Conservatives, both released campaign posters parodying the twins. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen also backed the singers, while Leona Lewis worries about them.
Mentor Walsh told the News of the World: "I don't know how people can hate two nice young kids from Ireland. They've been edited really badly and come across as the people everyone loves to hate.... but they're just raw, naive and innocent and they have the potential to be really good." Cowell believed they could on go on to have a successful music career. Prime minister Gordon Brown came under fire for describing John & Edward as "not very good", but later apologised. leading Walsh to state, "Gordon Brown and Simon Cowell both have something in common. Neither of them know what the public want." David Cameron admitted he enjoyed watching the X Factor and that John and Edward were his favourites.
Following their departure, Jedward have been signed to Modest! Management and claim that they intend "to do different things in future...you never know what's going to happen. It's about keeping doors open". Singer Shakira, who had performed on the series, has expressed her desire to collaborate with them. They appeared on The Late Late Toy Show on 27 November 2009 where John swore live on air , and at T4's Stars of 2009 on Sunday 29 November. They will be performing on The X Factor Tour in 2010 from February to April. Due to the overwhelming demand to see Jedward, more dates were added, they are also doing a date at the Middlesbrough Empire as their first headlining concert. They have since been signed to Louis Walsh's management label. Walsh came to an "amicable agreement" with Modest! (who represent all 12 finalists until the show ends), which has allowed him to take the twins on.
On 5 December 2009, quoting the newspaper The Daily Mail, the website Digital Spy carried an article claiming that John and Edward were hauled off stage after being targeted with bottles during a nightclub performance. The X Factor finalists were halfway through a four-song show at Barnsley's Escapade nightclub when security stepped in and guided the 18-year-olds away. The duo were expected to follow their performance with a meet-and-greet in the VIP area, according to the Daily Mail. The twins said that they were "disappointed" that the show was cut short, adding: "We didn't even get to sing 'Ghostbusters'.". The duo were forced to cancel two further nightclub appearances following this incident.
Towards the end of 2009, Jedward fronted a radio campaign promoting Irish tourism in the United Kingdom. Although their voices were not heard, the duo had given the tourist board their permission. In the advertisements, Tourism Ireland apologised for the "haircuts, those PVC suits and the talking bit in Oops, I Did It Again". They appeared on The Graham Norton Show on New Year's Eve in 2009.
It has been announced that they have signed a £90,000 one album contract with Sony BMG and they are also going to have their own ITV2 documentary show which will follow them for the next three months as they prepare for The X Factor Tour. On 20 January 2010 John and Edward performed at the National Television Awards singing a mash-up of Under Pressure and Ice Ice Baby with rapper Vanilla Ice, who performed in the second half of the song. This, their debut single, has a download release of 31 January 2010, with the CD being released on 15 February 2010. They appeared on the Friday Night With Jonathan Ross show on the 29 January 2010, talking about life after the X-Factor and their forthcoming single release. On 6 February 2010, they appeared on The Saturday Night Show on RTÉ One.
Towards the end of 2009, Jedward were nominated for "Funniest Double Act" at the Loaded Laftas Awards, competing with 6 Music presenters Adam and Joe, and comedy duos Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. The ceremony was held on 27 January 2010, but Jedward lost out to Reeves and Mortimer.