Austria’s ‘bearded lady’ Conchita Wurst wins the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest
AUSTRIA’S Conchita Wurst — the so-called bearded lady — has won the Eurovision Song Contest.
The drag queen, who was initially written off as too provocative for some socially conservative countries, was a favourite to win the contest.
Wurst, the hirsute alter ego of Austrian performer Tom Neuwirth, represented his homeland with the Bond theme-like ballad “Rise Like a Phoenix,” drawing ire from socially conservative viewers.
The act proved so popular that Austria was declared the winner after 34 of 37 countries had given their votes on Saturday evening.
After being announced as the winner, Wurst said: “This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom.”
She added: “We are a unity and we are unstoppable”.
In Russia, Belarus and Ukraine petitioners demanded that the 25-year-old drag artist be dropped from the competition, while the leader of Austria’s right-wing FPOe party called the act “ridiculous”.
Conchita Wurst listens as points are announced during the judging at the final of the Eurovision Song
“I have very thick skin,” Wurst told AFP. “It never ceases to amaze me just how much fuss is made over a little facial hair.”
But much like the title of her song, the singer on Friday rose to second place in the odds table after winning over viewers with her performance in Thursday’s semi-final.