Adios Eurovision - Jedward set sights on US
X Factor sensations Jedward saw their Eurovision dream come crashing down in Germany last night.
The Lucan brothers were hoping to end 15 years of Eurovision agony for Ireland, though hard-up TV bosses will be grateful for their their still eighth-place finish as they won't be forced to splash out €20m on staging next year's event.
Instead that honour goes to Azerbaijan, who beat Italy into second place with Ell and Nikki's catchy pop anthem Running Scared.
The 19-year-old twins from Lucan in Dublin gave a typically high-octane performance of their number one smash 'Lipstick' as manager Louis Walsh watched proudly from the wings.
But it became clear from halfway into the live vote from Düsseldorf that it wouldn't be enough for the pair to scoop the Eurovision crown.
Over 1.5 million Irish viewers tuned in to watch the drama unfold as Jedward attempted to bring the competition home. But their dreams of scoring a historic victory were cruelly shattered in the final stages of the voting, which was marked by blatant partisanship.
At one point the twins looked like they could go all the way, as they sailed into third place after maximum 12-point votes from the UK and Denmark.
But it still wasn't enough to propel them to the top of the scoreboard, and the pain was compounded as 11 countries in a row failed to vote for us.
Still, at least the bookies were happy.
They saved themselves a bumper €3m pay-out to Irish punters after Jedward's home support put their faith -- and their cash -- in the former X-Factor stars.
Speaking just moments after stepping off stage, the brothers told the Sunday Independent it was an experience they'll never forget.
An upbeat Edward said: "Of course we're disappointed, but it's all about the taking part and we know our fans still love us and we heart them too. Our aim was to bring fun and happiness to Eurovision and make Ireland proud. And we hope we succeeded."
John added: "Thank you to everyone who supported us, especially Caroline Downey and RTE."
The Lucan brothers were the sixth to sing last night, and their energetic performance was watched by more than 120 million people around the globe.
Close to two million of these were in Ireland, including President Mary McAleese, who rang the boys last night to wish them good luck.
Meanwhile, manager Louis Walsh told of his heartbreak: "I was extremely disappointed for the boys. It's heart-wrenching because they worked so, so hard.
"They're gutted. They went over to win it. But you never know what way it's going to go on nights like this.
"And unfortunately it wasn't to be," he said.
He added: "Still, they couldn't have given it any more. They did Ireland proud and I thought it was the strongest performance by an Irish act for years.
"I have big plans for them. Europe has been crazy for them over the past week -- they're going to be huge now. And we'll bring them to the US too. They'll be the male version of the Olsen twins."
He went on: "And don't forget they gave the country the feelgood factor it's desperately needed for a while."
But all is not lost for Ireland's inexhaustible favourite twins.
Louis explained: "They may not have won tonight, but the boys needn't worry about their future.
"They have been offered a string of high-profile gigs after thrilling the European media. Away from the big stage they completely blew them away with their charm.
"They had this magnetic appeal all through the competition wherever they went," he said.
"They just have this feelgood vibe -- you can't help but be happy around them. They put everyone in good form."
The pair, are now fully booked up until next year -- with plans to include new European dates in their schedule, including 5,000-capacity arenas.
After leaving the arena, the drained pair headed straight back to their hotel to get some much-needed rest ahead of a flight back to a huge reception from their fans at Dublin Airport. John told the Sunday Independent: "We know our fans will be there to meet us at the airport because we have the best fans in the world and we know they'll still support us because they heart you -- win, lose or draw."
And the boys revealed that despite flopping, they now have their eyes set on "global domination".
Their proud manager Louis Walsh has already promised to make the Grimes brothers household names in America and the most famous twins in the world since Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
And fans might want to know that their heroes will be arriving back in Dublin Airport this morning at 11am.
Source Sunday Independent