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Entertainment

RTR3OE5Y
Eurovision's Drag Queen - 09 May 2014
Drag queen Conchita Wurst is Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol.

Sporting high-heels, butterfly eyelashes and a full beard, Wurst - real name: Tom Neuwirth - is an unlikely contestant for conservative Austria.

The annual Eurovision Song Contest, which has a huge gay following, could be the perfect platform for the singer to launch an international career.

But her entry has highlighted Europe's geographical divide on attitudes to homosexuality. Unlikely to raise much controversy in the West, her appearance has prompted criticism by some in the East where anti-gay rhetoric remains more common.

Wurst's song entry "Rise Like a Phoenix", which bookmakers say is in the top ten favorites to win, is a power ballad that the singer sees as a defiant metaphor for her journey from a rural boyhood to her budding career as a bearded drag queen.
DENMARK/
RTR3OD69
May 08, 2014
Conchita Wurst representing Austria reacts after qualifying in the second semi-final at the 59th annual...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conchita Wurst representing Austria reacts after qualifying in the second semi-final at the 59th annual...
Conchita Wurst representing Austria reacts after qualifying in the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
DENMARK/
RTR3OCVN
May 08, 2014
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during second semi-final...
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
DENMARK/
RTR3OCVB
May 08, 2014
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during second semi-final...
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
DENMARK/
RTR3OCVP
May 08, 2014
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during second semi-final...
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
DENMARK/
RTR3OCV2
May 08, 2014
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during second semi-final...
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
DENMARK/
RTR3OD0O
May 08, 2014
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during second semi-final...
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
DENMARK/
RTR3OCW3
May 08, 2014
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final...
Copenhagen, Denmark
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during second semi-final...
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
AUSTRIA-EUROVISION/DRAG
RTR3MPMB
April 26, 2014
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst poses after an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst...
Vienna, Austria
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst poses after an interview with Reuters in Vienna
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst poses after an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst will take to the European stage as Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol. Picture taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)
AUSTRIA-EUROVISION/DRAG
RTR3MPM3
April 26, 2014
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014....
Vienna, Austria
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst will take to the European stage as Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol. Picture taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)
AUSTRIA-EUROVISION/DRAG
RTR3MPM0
April 26, 2014
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014....
Vienna, Austria
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst will take to the European stage as Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol. Picture taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)
AUSTRIA-EUROVISION/DRAG
RTR3MPM5
April 26, 2014
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014....
Vienna, Austria
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst will take to the European stage as Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol. Picture taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
AUSTRIA-EUROVISION/DRAG
RTR3MPM9
April 26, 2014
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014....
Vienna, Austria
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst will take to the European stage as Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol. Picture taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)
AUSTRIA-EUROVISION/DRAG
RTR3MPM6
April 26, 2014
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014....
Vienna, Austria
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst will take to the European stage as Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol. Picture taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)
AUSTRIA-EUROVISION/DRAG
RTR3MPLZ
April 26, 2014
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014....
Vienna, Austria
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna
Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst gestures during an interview with Reuters in Vienna April 24, 2014. Wurst will take to the European stage as Austria's contender for Eurovision, the song contest that pits nation versus nation and launched the global careers of ABBA and Celine Dion, Wurst's idol. Picture taken April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)
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