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Published:May 12th, 2014 08:02 EST

Bearded Lady Conchita Wurst Wins Eurovision Song Contest: Video

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Bearded drag act Conchita Wurst, who secured Austria`s first Eurovision win in 48 years, received a jubilant welcome home to Vienna on Sunday as she pledged to promote tolerance.


The singer, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, was greeted at the airport by more than 1,000 fans, some wearing painted beards and singing the winning anthem `Rise Like a Phoenix.`"

The Guardian

The Eurovision Song Contest has been held since 1956; the contest has been broadcast every year since its inauguration and is one of the longest-running TV programs in the world.

Unlike " American Idol" winning the Eurovision contest isn`t a springboard into international or even regional fame. Most of the winners never escape obscurity and irrelevance, although the 1974 winner ABBA, the 1981 winner Julio Iglesias, and the 1988 winner Celine Dion have collectively sold over a billion records worldwide.

You don`t have to be a rocket scientist or a pop guru to predict that Conchita Wurst aka Tom Neuwirth will never be more than an oddball curiosity.

Neuwirth`s victory may be significant in the struggle for tolerance and  diversity, but I doubt that posters of the Bearded Lady will adorn any dorm rooms. I applaud the social significance of Neuwirth`s victory, but I won`t pretend that he`s anything more than a sideshow attraction.

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