Bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst wins Eurovision song contest
Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, who was initially written off as too provocative for some socially conservative countries, won the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 10, Saturday with a James Bond-inspired entry that had unleashed a wave of protests in eastern Europe before the competition. The power ballad, “Rise Like a Phoenix,” helped Wurst — the alter ego of 25-year-old Thomas Neuwirth — secure Austria’s second victory in the competition with 290 points. The country also won in 1966.
Eurovision is an annual event held every year since 1956, created in the aftermath of World War II to encourage good relations between neighbors. Today, Eurovision draws a television audience of about 180 million people in 45 countries.