Louis Walsh’s Feud With Jedward Explained

Jedward hit back after Louis took aim in the Celebrity Big Brother house

Twins John and Edward performing

by Isobel Lewis |
Published on

During his short time in the Celebrity Big Brother house, Louis Walsh has taken aim at everyone from his fellow X Factor judge Simon Cowell to Andrew Lloyd Webber. But the TV personality picked on the wrong people on Tuesday 12 March, when he criticised Jedward, AKA Irish twins John and Edward Grimes. During one of his rants in the Big Brother house, Louis was asked about his time mentoring Jedward on the 2009 series of The X Factor and managing them in the four years after.

How did Louis go from managing Jedward and calling them 'really nice kids' to branding them 'vile'? We’ve investigated…

What did Louis say about Jedward?

Louis called the twins ‘vile’, saying, ‘They were great. I got five million quid for them, I swear on my mother’s life. But they were vile. But they were novelty, it was great for the show, and it was all about the show.’ Following the comments, the live audience at ITV’s CBB taping were heard shouting to ‘get Louis out’. However, it was Real Housewives of Cheshire star Lauren Simon who ended up getting the boot.

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh hit out at his former X Factor mentees ©Mike Marsland/WireImage

At home, the comments didn’t go down well with John and Edward, both 32, either. Watching along at TOWIE star Gemma Collins’ house, the pair shared a series of posts on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) calling Louis a ‘cold-hearted b******’ and an ‘absolute weirdo with bad intentions for all’. They claimed that Louis didn’t send them flowers when their mother died AND ‘tried to make us sign our name and life away in dodgy contracts to people he was great friends with’. They later added, ‘Louis reopened these wounds all by himself being spiteful and disrespectful. We aren’t going to have our character taken. Justice will be served.’

Jedward's history with Louis Walsh

John and Edward Grimes first appeared on the scene in 2009 when they were a so-called “joke act” on The X Factor. The duo went by John and Edward and were branded ‘not very good and incredibly annoying’ by Simon Cowell, but made it onto the live shows and signed with Louis after leaving the show. ‘Despite all the doubters, John and Edward proved themselves on The X Factor and I've always been convinced that they have a great career ahead of them,’ Louis said in an interview at the time.

In their years under Louis’ management, the duo released their debut single ‘Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)’ before signing a three-album deal with Universal Music Ireland. They even represented Ireland at Eurovision for two consecutive years. At the time, Louis defended the pair, and called them ‘really nice kids and good role models”. ‘I took a chance on them on X Factor; everybody told me I was crazy but who's laughing now?’ he said. ‘They're laughing and now everybody's laughing. They've opened up a whole new continent on Jedwardmania.’

John and Edward Grimes on The X Factor
In their X Factor days ©Phil Dent/Redferns/Getty

Louis continued managing the group until 2013, when their late mother Susanna Condron took over. But things turned sour in 2016, when Louis was asked in an interview about the most embarrassing moment of his career. ‘Working with Jedward and putting them through on The X Factor,’ he responded, adding, ‘I’m definitely not in touch with them anymore.’

Jedward responded while appearing on Irish TV, with Edward saying, ‘I think we are the most financially beneficial act of his career in the last 10 years… I think he got old. It’s like someone saying behind your back and you are like, “Wait, I didn’t know there was a problem?”’

In the years since, the pair hit out at Louis a number of times on social media, branding him a ‘wrinkly old fart’ and ‘toxic’. ‘Louis Walsh at this point only wants acts to manage to make it look like he's doing something! He's a cold hearted two faced bitch who uses his powers for his own benefit!’ they wrote in 2021.

Following Louis’ comments on Celebrity Big Brother, the pair claimed that Girls Aloud and Ronan Keating, both of whom Louis previously managed, ‘hated’ him. On Gemma’s Instagram, they told the camera: ‘He tried to keep us in check, kept us burnt out, had us here, had us there, had us everywhere. It was absolutely ridiculous, there was no plan… No one has a good word to say about him, everyone's watching the show gobsmacked. Simon Cowell helped him launch Westlife, saying s*** about him! You just can't do that to friends and people that have given you a chance.’

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