Pop twins John and Edward Grimes – aka Jedward – are to represent Ireland at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place in Dusseldorf in May.

The wacky 19-year-old pair, who sprang to fame on the 2009 series of The X Factor, were crowned winners of the Irish Eurosong contest on Friday night with their uptempo song Lipstick.

They fought off competition from four other acts in the contest – which was held during a special edition of Ireland’s popular Late Late Show – following a mix of votes from regional juries around Ireland and televoting from viewers.

After the jury votes had been completed Jedward were in second place to Irish singer Nikki Kavanagh, but won the contest after receiving the highest number of votes from the public.

Although the public vote was originally meant to count for 50 per cent of the vote, this was changed to one-third of the vote after a 30-second clip of Jedward’s song was leaked online ahead of the contest.

Although Universal Records claimed this was due to an administrative error, organisers still felt that this gave the boys an unfair advantage over the other four acts.

Afterwards, a delighted Jedward said they were “very excited” about representing their country in Dusseldorf.

“We’re just so happy that everybody voted for us,” they told the Irish Independent. “Jedward are going to go global, they’re going to win it for Ireland.”

The boys will perform in the second Eurovision semi-final on May 12 in an attempt to win a place in the grand final on Saturday May 14.

The pair were one of the success stories of The X Factor 2009, winning a huge fan base across the UK with their over-the-top routines and personalities, despite their questionable singing skills – with Simon Cowell famously threatening to emigrate if they won the series.

Although they were eventually voted out in the seventh week, with Joe McElderry going on to win, they have enjoyed a successful career since, hitting the top ten with Under Pressure and fronting advertising campaigns including those for Nintendo and Travel Supermarket.

They also released their debut album Planet Jedward in 2010.

Ireland are the most successful Eurovision nation of all time, having won the contest seven times including four times in the 1990s and consecutively from 1992-94.

They are also the only country ever to win twice with the same performer, with singer Johnny Logan scoring victory in 1980 and 1987.

However they have fared less well lately, with three of their last six entries failing to make it out of the semi-final. Their most successful recent entry was Brian Kennedy’s Every Song Is A Cry For Love, which finished 10th in 2006.

Their 2010 entrant, former winner Niamh Kavanagh, had been hotly tipped to do well but eventually finished in 23rd place with just 25 points.

And Jedward will have to make it to the final if they want to pick up any points from their fan base in the UK – as they are voting in the first semi-final, which takes place on May 10.

The UK recently announced that it was sending the boyband Blue to the contest, with the song I Can – which will be revealed to the public at a later date.