Conchita Wurst isn't the first drag act to appear at Eurovision, but she's arguably the most successful. The bearded lady (also known as singer Tom Neuwirth) won the international singing contest last night, bringing victory to her home country of Austria.
Sporting a full-length gold lace gown, luscious brunette locks that would be the envy of Kate Middleton, and a beard the envy of most men in Brooklyn, Wurst performed the Shirley Bassey-esque ballad "Rise Like A Phoenix." And, thus, a star was born.
Though she had originally been deemed a novelty act — something for which Eurovision is renown — Wurst quickly found herself at the top of the leaderboard ahead of favorites like Sweden and Armenia. According to the competition's rules, each participating European nation can only award points to 12 other nations. Voting for your own country is not allowed, but it's common for votes to be cast in favor of a neighboring country or ally.
Wurst's powerful voice, glamorous image, and message of "respect and tolerance," however, transcended any geographical biases. Accepting her award in Copenhagen, Wurst championed the spirit of diversity.
"This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom," the singer said in an emotional speech. "You know who you are. We are unity, and we unstoppable."
Watch the video of her performance below to see what all the
fuzz fuss is about.