Eurovision is an annual song competition where amateur artists compete for the most popular song in Europe. The show, which first aired in 1956, is one of the longest running programs on television, and it boasts one of the largest worldwide audiences for a non-sporting event. The competition brings each country a sense of national pride (or embarrassment) as they watch musicians represent the European community.

 

Many of the songs submitted are silly and are done for the entertainment factor — see “Cake to Bake” by Aarzemnieki who represented Latvia at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.  Although, the competition is also a way for amateur artists to kickstart their career and gain international recognition.

 

Winner of the 2014 Eurovision competition Conchita Wurst of Austria (dailymail.co.uk)

This year’s winner was Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst with her powerful ballad “Rise Like A Phoenix”.  Wurst who sports a beard and long flowing black hair, has become a topic of controversy. Openly gay, transgender, and drag-queens are not new to the Eurovision competition, however, talk of Wurst as a symbol of “blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay,” is not uncommon from those that believe she represents the corruption of the West.

 

 

 

Wurst has refused to take the criticism personally.

 

“I can only say ‘Thank you for your attention!’ If this is only about me and my person, I can live with it. You know, I have a very thick skin. It’s just strange that a little facial hair causes that much excitement. I also have to add that 80 percent of the autograph requests that I get are from Russia and eastern Europe — and that’s what is important to me.”

 

Wurst’s win was also cited as the cause of devastating floods that occurred in the Balkans. Balkan church leader, Montenegro Patriarch Amfilohije, stated, “This (flood) is not a coincidence, but a warning.  God sent the rains as a reminder that people should not join the wild side.”

 

Regardless of those opposed to Wurst’s image, there are many that support her. She was welcomed back home to Austria after her win. Wurst shared that this win was not only a win for herself, but also for all those in the LGBT community and other supporters.

 

What are your thoughts on Eurovision and Conchita Wurst’s win? Let me know in the comments below or tweet at me @whatsthesich