Sunday 28 December 2014

'Bearded lady' Conchita just too fabulous for rest

Dean Gray

Published 12/05/2014 | 02:30

Singer Conchita Wurst representing Austria. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein
Singer Conchita Wurst representing Austria. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein
Austrian singer Conchita Wurst attends a press conference in Vienna
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria who won the the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Singer Conchita Wurst representing Austria
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria who won the the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen

She came, she saw and she conquered, but just by a whisker.

We are talking, of course, about Conchita. Austria's bearded drag queen, also known as Tom Neuwirth, had attracted a devoted entourage to Copenhagen before the contest, and her performance in a magnificent golden gown got by far the biggest cheer of the night.

Her bittersweet ballad sounded like it was written for a Bond film. Where other acts brought a phalanx of backing dancers with them, Conchita commanded the stage alone, and the performance showed off her astonishing voice and inspiring charisma.

Conchita (pictured) had every other act beat for sheer fabulousness. When she was announced as the winner, Copenhagen erupted into cheers and tearful embraces.

For all the abuse thrown her way during the last few weeks, there hasn't been such a popular Eurovision success in years.

'X Factor' fans would have recognised former contestant Ruth Lorenzo performing 'Dancing in the Rain' for Spain. She belted it out in the midst of a downpour of rainy visual effects, and her performance made quite an impact.

Sweden's Sanna Nielsen offered up a charming performance of her singalong pop ballad 'Undo', adorned on stage by a twisting laser light show.

In a particularly flamboyant year of Eurovision, the simplicity of Nielsen's performance stood out for being a pleasure to listen to.

The same was true of the Netherlands, the last-minute favourites, with their heavily Nashville-flavoured country number 'Calm After the Storm'.

Irish Independent

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