Musical entertainer Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with her performance of the song "Rise Like a Phoenix". To describe her performance as a winning performance does not do it justice as her singing of the song, a "James Bond" type of ballad while wearing a gold embedded fishtail gown was exceptional and the win was dominant as she received an astounding score of 290. England's entry received a score of 40 and finished in 17th place.
However, her win was not without controversy as Conchita Wurst is a drag performer and she performed while wearing a full beard and makeup and in the process pushed the envelope with regards to the topic of gender identity. Her selection as the Austrian representative to the competition and her presence at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 led to her receiving numerous homophobic and transphobic attacks from people in Austria and from throughout Europe such as Belarus, Russia and Armenia.
Yet, she did not let the controversy distract her or take anything away from her win as she noted that she "has tough skin". Conchita Wurst has tough skin and an amazing voice and she proved in winning this contest that talent and exceptional performing skills can overcome anything. Her singing of "Rise Like a Phoenix" was exceptionally powerful and left no doubt about who was the best performer of the evening.
Music representatives will likely be fighting over the opportunity to sing her to a recording contract because she has a voice that transcends the dinosaur-like thinking of some individuals in the world who might make judgement about her because of how she dresses and the fact that she wears facial hair which many feel was a brilliant marketing tactic. No one could take their eyes off her because many were intrigued to see if she could sing well and what type of voice would come from this woman with a beard.
Conchita Wurst struck a huge blow for talent and the importance of judging a person on their talent and their character not their appearance with her sensational singing performance in winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.