Bearded lady Conchita Wurst wins Eurovision Song Contest for Austria with Rise Like a Phoenix

The cross-dressing diva - real name Thomas Neuwirth - led from the front with a James Bond-flavoured anthem

Austria’s Conchita Wurst was crowned Eurovision 2014 winner in Copenhagen on Saturday night, triumphing with an uplifting James Bond-style anthem Rise Like a Phoenix.


Nicknamed “the bearded lady”, the cross-dressing diva led from the front, finally shaking off nearest contenders The Netherlands’ Common Linnetts with several nations still to cast their votes and finishing with a total of 290 points.

Following her win, a clearly emotional Conchita – real name Thomas Neuwirth – told a rampant crowd in the B&W Hallerne arena “This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable!”

The Netherlands finished 52 points behind Austria in second place with their country-flavoured indie track Calm After the Storm, which had already entered the UK top 40 downloads chart before the competition and looks like being a commercial hit, if not quite a Eurovision winner.

Sweden were in third place, 20 points behind Holland, with Sanna Nielsen’s Undo, while the UK’s entry, Children of the Universe by Molly, languished on the right-hand side of the scoreboard all night, finishing in 17th place with 40 points. 

Points for Russia’s 17-year-old twins the Tolmachevy Sisters were met with boos throughout the evening thanks to the ongoing military crisis involving Ukraine, who finished a place above their neighbours in sixth position.