It was a tough day for those of us watching Eurovision in Australia. By the time we had woken up on Sunday morning the winner had already been announced, and consequently most of us spent the entire day avoiding media of any kind. From my own (not a scientist) estimation, 90% of us found out one way or another, mostly from that bloody trends ticker on Facebook where we thought it would be safe. Spoiled or not, it was a triumphant grand final and the closest competition in years. Poland’s breastiness failed to take them to the top three, and Ukraine’s human hamster continues to run ceaselessly into his own past. And hilariously, France scored only two points for ‘Moustache’.
In the point scoring it came down to three: Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen, The Netherland’s The Common Linnets and Austria’s Conchita Wurst. It was the big ballads versus the European-Nashville babes, but in the end no one could surpass Conchita – voting was interrupted early to announce there could be no other winner. She won with a total of 290 and a lead of 52 points.
It was a symbolic win as much as it was recognition of the best performance – Conchita, in her own words, represents tolerance and individuality. Leading up to the finals she faced gross criticism and abuse, much of it online but also from powerful Russian figures. Politician Vitaly Milonov – one of the guys who put together Russia’s gay ‘propaganda’ laws – called Conchita a ‘pervert’ and said that Eurovision is ‘a hotbed for sodomy’ (which is sort of funny when you think about how camp Russia’s entry was…). Even during the voting one representative mocked Conchita’s beard by pretending to shave. However she powered on through it all, and at one stage pre-finals saying, ‘I’m just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard.’ Word.
Not that it made any difference to the outcome, but Conchita Wurst also won the unofficial Australian vote (and our hearts). For some time my Twitter timeline was tweet after tweet of Conchita adoration, and for a while we could forget that our own country is currently losing whatever social progression it gained in the past fifty years.
Upon being crowned the Queen of Europe, Conchita dedicated her win to ‘all those who believe in the future of peace and freedom – you know who you are. You are unity and you are unstoppable.’ Conchita forever.
Image from Wikipedia.