When I saw the picture I said (very politically incorrect) “Yikes“, when I saw a performance I said “Oh… well…” and when I saw more I said “She will go to Eurovision for Austria“. Conchita Wurst is a fictional character and has come to fame through the recent Austrian casting show “Die Große Chance” in which she came 6th, despite having won the second semi-final. Wurst (German for sausage) is a woman with a beard, which is exotic enough, but when you hear her sing it’s even more surprising.
Her real name is Tom Neuwirth, a shop window decorator who made it (as himself) to the final of the 2007 version of Starmania (He had his coming out during the show). In the final he was beat by no other than Nadine Beiler, who represented Austria this year in Düsseldorf. The Kronenzeitung suggests that the Eurovision application as Conchita Wurst may be an attempt of Neuwirth’s at revenge.
In the casting show Conchita Wurst surprised judges and audience alike with her powerful (certainly for a man) and emotional performances of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Michael Jackson’s “I’ll be there”. Her performances even caused standing ovations and before the final she was one of the favourites (having won the second semi-final). In the final she only came 6th but her popularity is still considerable and makes her one of the favourites to win the Austrian national final.