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Conchita Wurst's Eurovision Win Marred by Anti-Gay Comments

May 12, 2014 (1:32 am) GMT
Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky called the bearded lady's victory at the song competition 'the end of Europe.'
Conchita Wurst's Eurovision Win Marred by Anti-Gay Comments

's recent victory at Eurovision drew controversy as expected. The anti-gay lobby of Russia branded the so-called Austrian bearded woman's win at the song contest as "the end of Europe."

A debate involving politicians and celebrities was broadcast on Russian TV networks after the 2014 competition was wrapped up in Copenhagen. The outspoken Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky said, "There is no limit to our outrage. It has turned wild. There are no more men or women in Europe, just it."

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that the result "showed supporters of European integration their European future - a bearded girl." Moscow Correspondent Steve Rosenberg confirmed during an appearance on BBC that Russia didn't take it "well at all."

Russia, Belarus and Ukraine petitioners had demanded that Wurst be dropped from the competition, calling her act "ridiculous." However, the 25-year-old drag artist was a favorite to win all along. Things got heated up when the Russian entry The Tolmachevy Sisters was booed whenever they received points.

However, Wurst whose real name is Tom Neuwirth remained in good spirit after the win. "We are unstoppable," she said at a press conference after the finale. "I really dream of a world where we don't have to talk about unnecessary things like sexuality, where you're from or who you love. This is not what it's all about. I really felt like tonight, Europe showed that we are a unity full of respect and tolerance."

She also told reporters in Vienna, "That was obviously meant for certain politicians whom we all know." Asked if it was directed at Russian president Vladimir Putin, who passed an anti-gay law last year, Wurst said, "among others."

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