90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, May 12, 2014

Austrian Drag Queen Wins Eurovision Song Contest

Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, poses with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 11, 2014. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, poses with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 Grand Final in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 11, 2014. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst has won the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with a James Bond-inspired power ballad.

The song, “Rise Like a Phoenix,” helped Wurst secure Austria’s second victory in the competition Saturday. The country also won in 1966.

The winner was picked by juries and television viewers across Europe.

Transcript

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

Some are calling Austria's win this weekend in the huge annual Eurovision singing contest a victory for tolerance in Europe. Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst won. Here she is performing on Saturday night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RISE LIKE A PHOENIX")

CONCHITA WURST: (Singing) Rise like a phoenix, out of the ashes, seeking murder and vengeance, retribution. (Unintelligible).

YOUNG: Conchita Wurst is the drag persona of Thomas Neuwirth. Officials in Russia and a few other Eastern European countries protested her even being in the contest. But she beat out top contenders like Armenia's singing pharmacist Aram. And Conchita's fans took to wearing knitted beards in the red and white colors of her home country. They were thrilled with her victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Chanting) Conchita.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: It was so great, and it's really good that we won. We're so proud of Conchita.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: And we knew the whole time that she will win.

YOUNG: And Conchita, dressed in sparkly evening gown and beard, talked about what her Eurovision win means for Europe.

WURST: Well, you know, I think for me, you know, my dream came true. But for our society, it just showed me that there are people out there who want to go in the future and go on, you know, and not stepping back or thinking in the past. So I thank Europe, and I'm so thankful about that, but I think we said something.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RISE LIKE A PHOENIX")

WURST: (Singing) (Unintelligible). I'm going to fly. Rise like a phoenix out of the...

YOUNG: Remember, this is the contest that gave us ABBA. No telling where Conchita Wurst will go. To see a video of her winning performance, go to hereandnow.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RISE LIKE A PHOENIX")

WURST: (Singing) Once I'm transformed, one I'm reborn. You know I will rise like a phoenix, but you're my (unintelligible). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

September 29 6 Comments

Michigan Coach Faces Criticism For Keeping QB In Play

University of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris was having trouble standing on his own after a major sack. The coach kept him in the game.

September 29 26 Comments

Methodist Pastor Faces Last Church Trial

Reverend Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked for officiating his son's same-sex marriage and later reinstated, awaits one more church trial. He writes about the experience in a new memoir.

September 29 7 Comments

Monarch Butterflies Could Be On Rebound

After precipitous declines in the monarch butterfly population, there are signs the species may be on the rebound.

September 26 4 Comments

Dean Of Boston Sports Journalism Celebrates 42 Years On The Job

Here & Now's Robin Young visits the most-beloved sportscaster you've never heard of: Jonny Miller.