A slender and stylish “woman” with a full dark beard blew thousands away at Eurovision.
Russia and Ukraine faced off Saturday, far from their volatile border region, on the glitzy stage of the Eurovision Song Contest.
On the night, however, it was a much talked about 25-year-old from Austria who stole the show.
Conchita Wurst, the onstage drag persona of Thomas Neuwirth, was the runaway winner for a performance of the ballad “Rise Like A Phoenix.”
Performing in a skintight dress with long hair and a full beard, Wurst scored 290 points to become Austria’s first Eurovision winner since 1966.
“For me, my dream came true,” Wurst told reporters after the contest. “But for society it showed me that people want to move on, to look to the future. We said something, we made a statement.”