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Rise Like a Social Phoenix: Russia's Anna Netrebko Supports Eurovision 2014 Winner, Austrian Drag Queen Conchita Wurst?

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on May 14, 2014 02:38 PM EDT

If you missed out on this year's Eurovision Song Contest, then you certainly lost out on a gratifying display of live LGBQTA rights.

Yes, this past weekend, Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst (née Tom Neuwirth) won Eurovision's 2014 iteration.

If you've been under the same rock that blocked out Wurst's best, you may also be ignorant to the fact that Eastern Europe is in turmoil--infringing on rights both human and civil, inciting international uprising. If ever there were a time for someone like Ms. Wurst to get the recognition she so deserves, now would be it.

In her own country, Conchita hasn't had the fast track to stardom. In fact, the cross-dressing singer was barred from national candidacy after a petition against her pipes circulated around Austria.

Later petitions in Belarus and Russia objected to Wurst's participation, adding that her involvement would turn the manly competition that is Eurovision already into a, quote, "hotbed of sodomy."

According to the New Yorker:

Some people--including Russian politicians--demanded that Russian television edit out her act. (This is against Eurovision rules and was not pursued by any stations, a Eurovision spokesperson said.) Jan Feddersen, an editor at the German newspaper TAZ and a longtime Eurovision reporter, said Austria's win indicates that there is less of a cultural divide in Europe than is widely thought: Wurst garnered nearly as many votes from Southern and Eastern European countries, like Italy and Slovenia, as from traditionally left-leaning countries like the Netherlands.

Even better news for the European Union?

Vlad Putin's favored soprano, Anna Netrebko, has apparently lent her virality to Wurst's cause.

Regardless of whether or not Netrebko will deign to speak out on Putin's very staunch anti-gay policies, Austria's Conchita Wurst, beard and all, is an undeniable talent.

Revel, then, in "hir" singing "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the comp's semi-finals.

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TagsConchita Wurst, Eurovision Song Contest, The New Yorker