• Thu
  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:31am
NewsWorld
EUROVISION

Eurovision Song Contest's bearded lady Conchita Wurst hits back

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 11:57pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 11:57pm

Austria's bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst has hogged the limelight ahead of tomorrow's Eurovision Song Contest final.

But things have become a little hairy for her among socially conservative Europeans and even gay rights campaigners.

Wurst, the drag persona of 25-year-old Austrian singer Tom Neuwirth, said in Copenhagen: "I created this bearded lady to show the world that you can do whatever you want. If you're not hurting anyone you can do whatever you like with your life."

Wurst's ballad Rise Like A Phoenix was widely expected to make it through yesterday's semi-final in the Danish capital, but few pundits believe she will take the Eurovision crown.

However, comments by Armenian Eurovision hopeful Aram MP3 - one of the bookies' favourites - that Wurst's lifestyle was "not natural" have boosted her profile, even though the stand-up comedian later claimed his comments were a joke.

"He apologised by saying his comments were a joke and badly translated," Wurst said. "I have to say that if it's a joke it's not funny ... but he apologised and that's fine for me," she added.

There have also been petitions to have her removed from the competition in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, where a law banning "gay propaganda" was signed by President Vladimir Putin last year.

St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov reportedly asked his country's Eurovision selection committee not to send any Russian musicians to the event, which he accused of being "blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay".

Although much of the controversy over her appearance has centred on eastern Europe, it hasn't always been smooth sailing in her home country.

The leader of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache, called her "ridiculous" and threw his support behind another singer, Alf Poier, who suggested she needed psychiatric help.

"If someone doesn't know if they're a man or a woman, they should go to a psychotherapist rather than to the song contest," Poier said.

A German-language Facebook page protesting about the decision to send her to the contest has garnered 38,500 "likes".

There has also been concern among some members of the gay community that her hirsute drag persona could "scare" people coming to terms with their own sexuality.

But Wurst said: "I don't want to scare them. I just want to show them that they can be accepted in any way."

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

12

This article is now closed to comments

mercedes2233
Is this a singing contest or what?
oregon222
Did anyone watch it? Throughout the show the hosts made jokes in/at the Chinese in Mandarin (they said Chinese but obviously you can't expect the Danes to know the difference), what did they say in each?
mercedes2233
I acknowledge that human beings may be man, woman, man who wants to be a woman, woman who wants to be a man, and some who are both etc. However, I object to seeing someone in a public forum who is presented in bad taste. There are social codes as to dressing or decency, and this person is extremely bad taste.
53567e31-b104-458b-a6cd-350e0a320969
Conchita Wurst or Tom Neuwirth just proved that after Mozart, Austrian music is back. Certainly classier than the peek at my **** Paris Hilton or the silly B Kardashians. This lady or man have more class than any of them combined.
mercedes2233
This person has no taste at all, let alone class!
ElijahpaulMoses
It is due to Europe and their desire for pubic boys, that has lead America now closer too the drain! Conchita is going to be shocked as all when they realize they have been quorum sensed/infected into wanting to be lets say different on both ends... For evidence all unnatural acts of mankind/womankind soon end by way of Science such as Aging and harlotism, womanizing and homosexuality.... Go for undeniable evidence that the combined data of man since the Garden has brought forth the end of aging/sickness ****adamandevewordresearch.blogspot.com/ or you can reach the same at ****www.facebook.com/#!/adamandevewordresearch ... Respect too all born of Adam/Atom ... It has begun
Formerly ******
Why is this news?
為什麼這是新聞?
536eac64-612c-413c-9777-08dd0a3209ca
i have never seen such **** in a song contest such as this .what are we teaching our children when a drag queen wins the contest.what a sad world we live in today
536eafb2-e658-4f97-88cf-08d90a3209ca
I guess we're teaching them not to be a small-minded pathetic bigot like you.
jimmybabe
Yea, to teach them that this really monster-looking man/woman half real thing, is...?

Pages

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or