So hopefully you were swayed by our post about how Eurovision is the best thing ever, and you watched the semi-finals and the grand final last week. As always, in true Eurovision style, there was lots of fanfare. More than one band reminded me of Mumford and Sons. Iceland had some amazing bowties. Montenegro seemed like a subtle homage to Frozen. Poland reminded us how sexy churning butter can really be. But I want to talk about the winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2014 and I never want to stop talking about her.
Conchita Wurst. More like Conchita Best.
Conchita Wurst is the drag persona of 25 year old Tom Neuwirth who was chosen to represent Austria in the 2014 song contest. Conchita won with her beautiful ballad “Rise Like a Phoenix” and that is exactly what she did.
There are politics behind Eurovision, politics that I don’t totally understand as a wide-eyed American appreciator. Some people are saying that Conchita’s win was a slightly political move from the judges as a stand against the tension in Ukraine and Russia. Politics aside, it is seriously cool that a bearded drag queen won Eurovision. Plus she is talented. Like, really talented. Charming too. I dare you to watch this interview with her and not immediately fall in love (especially when she says “Oh daaaaaahrling” to the timid press man.) She is a diva in the best way, always sporting some glitter somewhere and gushing over the pop-ladies that influence her. Being a 20-something in its most basic form is hard and uncomfortable, so trying to launch an international pop career as a drag queen adds a whole new level.
Neuwirth calls Conchita an “art figure” and in his private life, refers to himself as Tom and uses male pronouns. He developed Conchita as a teenager to deal with discrimination. And now, together, Conchita and Tom are making a name for themselves in the music world.
Conchita scored Austria their first win since 1966 with 290 points which means next year’s song contest will take place in Austria. The Netherlands came in second, and Sweden was third.
Check out Conchita Wurst’s winning song below
And a video of her singing Celine Dion for good measure
Who were you rooting for in this year’s song contest?
images via Getty