Eurovision 2014: Austria's transgender entry Conchita Wurst through to final

Ms Wurst hit back at transphobic critics before the show, after she was called a "pervert" by a Russian politician

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The Independent Culture

With the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest over, the line up for Saturday's Grand Finale is now certain, and will include Austrian singer Conchita Wurst, who has faced a transphobic backlash from some conservative countries.

Before the show, Ms Wurst hit back at critics, including Russian politician Vitaly Milonov, who called her a “pervert.”

“I can only say ‘Thank you for your attention!’” she told the Associated Press.

“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," she added.

The nine other countries to qualify on Thursday at the show in Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen, were: Switzerland, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Norway, Greece, Malta, Belarus and Finland.

Israel, Georgia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, and Ireland did not make the cut – a verdict that may be particularly disappointing for the latter, which has won the contest more times than any other country.

France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK, and last year’s winner Denmark did not perform in either heat, as they are guaranteed spots in the final.

Thursday’s ten finalists, and the six countries with secure spots, will battle in Saturday’s Grand Finale against  qualifiers from the First Semi-Final on Wednesday: Montenegro, Hungary, Armenia, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Sweden, The Netherlands, Iceland, Russia, and Ukraine.

The reception that Russia will receive at the final is likely to be a concern for the show's organisers, in light of the country's anti-gay laws, as well as its encroachment into Ukrainian territory in recent weeks.

Russian twins Anastasia and Maria Tolmachevy were booed during the first semi-final, while Ukraine’s Mariya Yaremchuk was cheered by the crowd.

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