The drag artist, Conchita Wurst – real name Tom Neuwirth – is representing Austria at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with the powerful ballad, Rise Like a Phoenix. The Eurovision, which boasts a strong gay following, takes place this year in Copenhagen.
Despite the Eurovision’s notoriety for being so gay-friendly (if not totally gay; watch last year’s interval act in Malmö, Sweden) Russia has announced its disapproval for this year’s Austrian entrant in the petition, which has reportedly been signed by thousands.
According to Reuters, Russia made the following statement:
“Austria will be represented in the Eurovision 2014 by the transvestite contestant Conchita Wurst who leads the lifesytle inapplicable for the Russians. The popular international competition that our children will be watching has become a hotbed of sodomy at the initiation of the European liberals. That is why we are against the Eurovision 2014 to be broadcast in Russia.”
This is not the first time the Eurovision has become embroiled in controversy over LGBT-rights and equality. Last year, the dance performance for the Finnish entry featured a kiss between the singer and her female dance partner, which sparked off controversy with Turkey’s broadcast of the contest, although Turkey disputed that Finland’s song was the reason why they decided not to broadcast the Eurovision last year. In 1998, the transgender superstar, Dana International, won the Eurovision for her native Israel.
See what the fuss is all about for yourself, by watching the music video for Conchita Wurst’s Rise Like a Phoenix below. The Eurovision Song Contest 2014 semi-finals take place in Copenhagen on the 6th and 8th of May, with the final taking place on the 10th. Conchita will represent Austria in the second semi-finals on the 8th.