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Austrian bearded drag queen wins Eurovision song contest

Published on May 11, 2014 6:16 AM
 

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Austria won this year's Eurovision Song Contest early Sunday with Rise Like a Phoenix sung by bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst.

The 25-year-old performer, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, took the Eurovision crown in Copenhagen despite initial expectations that the eye-catching performance would be too controversial in socially conservative countries.

"We are unity, and we are unstoppable," she said after winning the glitzy competition with 290 points compared with 238 points for runner-up the Netherlands, in what Eurovision fans had anticipated would be a more closely fought race.

Since the contest was launched in 1956, voting has often been tied to politics and the 2014 event was no exception, with the audience jeering countries that announced giving points to Russia.

 
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