Eurovision 2014: Conchita Wurst wins for Austria with 'Rise Like a Phoenix'

 

Austrian drag artist Conchita Wurst has been named the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

The singer received praise for her James Bond-esque ballad “Rise Like A Phoenix”, which she sang in a golden dress surrounded by dry ice.

The voting was paused before the end of the contest to announce that Wurst had become the outright winner with so many points she could not be caught by runners up, The Netherlands.

Austria finished with 290 points, with The Netherlands in second and Sweden in third.

On accepting the trophy, she said: "This is for all those who believe in the future of peace and freedom – you know who you are. You are unity and your are unstoppable.”

 

Wurst, real name Tom Neuwirth, had received negative comments from a minority of eastern Europeans calling for the Austrian entry to be withdrawn from Eurovision.

Russian politician Vitaly Milonov, one of the architects of the country’s gay propaganda law, called Wurst a “pervert” and labelled the competition a “hotbed of sodomy”.

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Wurst responded to the criticism before the competing, saying: “I can only say [to them] ‘Thank you for your attention!’ If this is only about me and my person, I can live with it.

“I’m just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard.”

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