September 24, 2016  

Austrian Bearded Drag Queen Conchita Wurst Wins 2014 Eurovision

May 11, 2014 (6:00 pm) GMT
Conchita Wurst triumphantly wins with a score of 290 after singing 'Rise Like a Phoenix', beating the Dutch and the Swedish contestants.

This year's Eurovision, an annual singing contest where contestants from European countries sing their own original songs, was won by a cross-dressing contestant from Austria named Conchita Wurst. The bearded drag queen, 25, got a score of 290 after singing her song "Rise Like a Phoenix" at the competition held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Wurst, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, won the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, May 10. "This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom," a tearful Wurst said when accepting the trophy from last year's winner, Denmark's Emmelie de Forrest. "You know who you are - we are unity and we are unstoppable."

Prior to her performance, Wurst faced homophobic attacks from people in her own country and from audience in other countries including Russia, Armenia and Belaru. Meanwhile, the teenage twins who represented Russia were booed and so were their voters in response to the recent controversial events in Ukraine and Russia's anti-gay law.

"I can only say thank you for your attention. If this is only about me and my person, I can live with it," Wurst responded to her critics in emails with The Associated Press. "You know, I have a very thick skin. It's just strange that a little facial hair causes that much excitement."

26 European countries participated in 2014 Eurovision which was watched by over 180million people in 45 countries. Wurst beat the Dutch and the Swedish contestants who finished second and third respectively. Russia came in seventh place, behind Ukraine. U.K. hopeful won the 17th place, while France came last with only 2 points.

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