Austria's Bearded Lady, Conchita Wurst, Wins 2014 Eurovision Song Contest

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Conchita Wurst stole the show when she sang the ballad "Rise Like a Phoenix" at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The 25-year-old drag persona of Thomas Neuwirth, who also refers to himself as "the bearded lady," took home the top prize in the competition, winning the contest for his native Austria. According to CNN, he calls himself "Tom" in his private life and refers to himself as "he." In his role as Conchita, the singer refers to "herself" as "she."

In her competition-winning performance Saturday, Conchita hit the stage in a skintight dress with long, flowing hair and a full beard, racking up 290 points to become the first Eurovision winner since 1996.

"For me, my dream came true," Conchita told reporters after the contest, according to the network. "But for society it showed me that people want to move on, to look to the future. We said something, we made a statement."

Conchita's participation in the competition has drawn controversy from certain countries with homophobic laws, including Armenia, Belarus and Russia, where a law against "gay propaganda" was passed last year. When Conchita first appeared in the contest, petitions were circulated calling for her to leave it. She was also booed in Russia as well.

According to Time, the annual competition pits more than three dozen European nations against one another to take home the Eurovision Song Contest's top honors.
Conchita Wurst: Eurovision's Bearded Lady

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