Conchita Wurst charmed a global audience of 170 million with a beard and a powerhouse performance at the Eurovision song contest. In recognition of her unique achivement ! brings you ten facts about the diva everyone”s talking about.
1. Conchita is the alter ego of 25-year-old Austrian showman Thomas “Tom” Neuwirth. She was created to protest at the intolerance he faced as a teenager for his sexual orientation.
2. The beard is real, although it was highlighted with make up.
3. Tom was previously in a boyband called Jetzt Anders – which means Different Now in English. The band were put together by Austrian casting show, Starmania in 2007, where they reached the final.
4. Conchita”s performance of Rise Like a Phoenix, a James Bond-style anthem, won 290 points, receiving the maximum score from many countries.
5. Tom was already a celebrity in his native Austria after coming second in talent show The Big Chance.
6. He also tried out for Eurovision in 2012.
7.In this year”s competition his song was already in first place following Thursday”s semi-final.
8. The singer is now expected to net £25 million, becoming the biggest act to come out of Eurovision since ABBA in 1974.
9. Conchita”s victory also upset some homophobic viewers, especially in Russia where hundreds of men posted pictures of themselves shaving their beard in protest.
10. Many more supported her including Nigella Lawson, who posted a picture of herself with a mock beard on Twitter.