The Eurovision Song Contest, often shortened to just the ESC, is an annual song contest held between the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union since 1956. It’s a huge event that offers the winner a career opportunity that millions would kill for. This year’s winner is Conchita Wurst…
For those of you who can see the picture, Mr. Wurst is the bearded beauty drag queen seen above. The Austrian (wo)man performed the power ballad “Rise Like a Phoenix” and secured the second win for his country since 1966. Conchita Wurst is the alter-ego of 25-year old Thomas Neuwirth. Wurst accepted his victory graciously:
“This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom,” a tearful Wurst said as she accepted the trophy from Denmark’s Emmelie de Forrest, who won the contest last year. “We are unity.”
The comments are focused directly on the controversy surrounding his presence and victory at the ESC, which highlighted a rift between Europe’s progressive liberal side and the traditional values and rhetoric of Russia and some other nations. Countries across Europe cast votes for Conchita except Russia. Every time Russia had votes they were booed unmercifully, and deservedly so. Congratulations to Conchita another victory for the gay, lesbian and transgender community. Russia better start getting use to it!
Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images