90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.
Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

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

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 17 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.