In recent months Conchita Wurst has been on everyone’s lips—and not just those of her many fans. From haters in Belarus to Eurovision favourite Aram Mp3, everyone has had something to say about Miss Wurst—and her sausage. But, like the phoenix she sings about in her song, Conchita just keeps on flying. She recently caught up with our Austria correspondent Patrick Melbler. In a wide-ranging interview they discuss her Eurovision staging, her fans around the world, and her thoughts on Aram Mp3.

Thanks for taking the time to chat. How does it feel to be part of the biggest music event in the world?

A big, big “thank you” that you’re interested in me and are taking the time to speak with me! Hmm…how does it feel? AMAZING. I’m full of energy and motivation. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to perform in Copenhagen.

Your real name is called “Tom Neuwirth”. Can you tell us about the moment you became “Conchita Wurst”?

Actually, she was always present. I always like to say Conchita was a second puberty. Conchita has been a part of me since I can remember, but she didn’t have a name. No teenagers have a finished face. So there was no special “moment”.

Your song is called “Rise Like A Phoenix”. What story are you telling and who are you thinking about when you sing?

The song talks about the pain and the hate that you feel when you are in a bad situation. It’s a conflict both with somebody else and with yourself. The main thing with bad experiences is that you grow and learn from them. And that’s the secret of my song – Never give up and believe there will be a good ending. You can fall but you have to rise up again.

You will represent Austria in the second semi-final on the 8th of May. Have you figured out staging and costume yet?

Hm… not really. In the last weeks the focus was on the song. Certainly there were a lot of discussions about the performance but there is no fixed picture. And I can tell you one secret about my stage outfit. It’s a dress and it will sparkle like the sun.

Austria, Conchita Wurst, 2

The female members of our team are jealous of your face and your body. How do you manage to be so beautiful, and how long does it take you to become Conchita?

Oh wow! A big thank you for that! To create the look of Conchita I need an hour, but I have to say, rather unfairly, I have really good genes and I really don’t do many things for my body, like going to the fitness studio or something like that.

Austria has two minds about you. Many people are thrilled that you will represent Austria, but others are shocked. Does the negative sentiment drive you forward?

I don’t really think about that. Negative things don’t get me anywhere. There is no value that I can take from it. I make things that I believe in and nobody can distract me from that.

Aram MP3 recently made controversial comments about gay and transgender people. Do you have a special message for Aram or those who agree with his views?

His thoughts are really uninteresting and I don’t care about that. I think that means we will never celebrate our wedding. The young boy thinks that I would love to be a woman…As I have said, “Aram my heart, I’m a busy working woman and a really lazy boy in my freetime. And that won’t change. And if you have problems understanding that, I would love to explain it to you over coffee and a piece of cake”. About his homophobic statements, I really have to talk with him. It shows me that I’m doing the right thing and that tolerance and acceptance is not natural [to everyone].

Are you the next Dana International? Will you be added to the list of winning divas?

To clarify to everyone: Dana is no drag-artist, she’s a woman! And that’s the difference with me. I’m acting out a character, but to be born in the wrong body is a more serious ordeal and it’s not comparable to my art. Dana is big, big personality and I think she really had to fight throughout her past. I really don’t know if I can be part of the winner’s list sometimes.

Conchita Wurst Rise Like a Phoenix Lyrics

You recently performed your song live for the first time. What was that like and how was the feedback?

It was unbelievable. I enjoyed every single second of it. The feedback was amazing. I only got positive feedback and I was really happy about that. The song speaks from my heart as nothing has before.

Do you watch Eurovision? Any favourites?

Oh yes. I have been following the Eurovision Song Contest for a long long time. Since I can remember me and my mummy have been big fans. And obviously my evergreen is “Ne partez pans sans moi” performed by my Celine Dion.

We asked our Twitter followers to submit questions and we’ve picked a few to share with you.

Jason Kevin Schembri (@Kevin_4598) is from Malta and asks: “Will you shave your beard before or at any stage of the Eurovision Song Contest?”

Hahaha. No, in no case. The beard is my trademark!

@Pargas_Enrique wants to know: “What’s your biggest inspiration for ESC?” 

Inspiration… Many things are inspiration for me.. Music, art, people, places… I always think about my creative process.

Izrael Salas (@IzraaeLL) is sending you love all the way from Chile. “How does it feel to have fans all around the world and especially in South America, where I’m from?”

It’s stunning! I can travel to many countries where I never been because of Eurovision. To arrive there and meet your fans is the best feeling an artist can have.

@rorygahan wants to know: “Have you already heard some of the other songs competing this year? Who are your favourite”?

Because of my love for Eurovision, I have already checked a few of the songs. I really have to say that Aram, my lovely friend, is my favourite! Followed by Spain, Italy and the catchy Polish song. This year is a really strong year – again.

Do you have a special message for your fans on wiwibloggs.com?

First of all I have to say thank you for your support! I really know that it’s not natural. I would be very happy to meet you guys in Copenhagen!

See you there! Lots of luck from the team!

Thank you. Lots of kisses!

Conchita will perform at Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam on April 5, at London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern as part of EuroFest on April 11, and at the London Eurovision Party on April 13. 

Patrick Melbler contributed this report from Austria. Follow him on Twitter @eurovisionboy77. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.

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Cassandra
Guest
Cassandra

I love Conchita’s song and I really hope and believe it’s gonna win.
Go Conchita!

The only ones who are disgusting in here is the ones who put down hate comments with your horrible fingers.

She is amazing, and she has an important message.

Many people hate LGBT persons.

I am transsexual/transgendered and I totally look like an woman.

You can hate on me how much you want, I don’t care.
I will rise like a phoenix anyway 🙂

Kinner
Guest
Kinner

stop it! leave her in peace! idiots

Lolilly
Guest
Lolilly

Heloooooooo everyone! Why are people so full of jealousy? I’m not even going to argue about what Aram said or didn’t say. A normal person, regardless of their sexuality, should know that seeing a woman with a beard is a little strange. When was the last time you saw that? As a psychology professor, (at a major University in California) It was interesting for me to watch Conchita’s video with my students and listen to their opinions. I have 138 students in total and it’s a very diverse group BTW, with only a few Armenians. None of my students heard… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

@Eugene UK Well I hope too. But this society is annoying .They are never satisfied and they feel like they are God and that they can decide forgive him or not .
I am glad that Conchita and Aram decided to meet and end this rumours. However I do not know people have nothing to do they sit in front of computer and spread hatred.

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Hi Dan – It’s about being “media savvy”. You learn whatever your opinions you try not say anything controversial especially in a TV interview!!!

I’m sure Aram’s Management Team have now advised him on what he should and should not say. He won’t do it again!!

Now they have met, let’s hope the “media” drop it now.

Dan
Guest
Dan

@Eugene UK we do not know right what other contestants think about her ?. I feel like this was spreaded by haters ,who put their nose in every interview to find something to make him down ,as he is one of the favourites. Maybe other contestants also said something bad ? But because they are not favourite no one cares . So we can not judge anyone . And that’s why I said we need to concentrate on songs ,because if we concentrate on what people said ,then we will not vote for anyone. As probably contestant from Azerbaijan talks… Read more »

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Hi Dan – Of course Aram is entitled to his opinion and he can say what he likes, but if makes comments that upset the gay community, he could be offending people who might have voted for him and it could be very damaging for him. So in hindsight what he said was ill advised and insensitive. It could come back to bite him in the ****!!!!!

Dan
Guest
Dan

@Eugene UK Honestly , I care less how this story will end .I think we all need to concentrate on song.Both of them are talented artists first of all . Aram’s song is easy to remember thought .It has more chances . By the way ,I guess people need to decide themselves weather they want to apologies or not .I do not think people need to apologies for their opinion .I guess we live in “free ” world ? It is better to be honest and say what you think, than act like you see woman with beard every day… Read more »

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Hi Dan – You are 100% right. I’m sure Conchita has heard a lot worse and it is now like “water off a duck’s back”. She admits she will not shave as it is her “trademark” so she wants to draw attention to herself. (So she has to take the “rough” with the “smooth”, hehe!!) Without the beard would she get all this attention? Absolutely not……………..the beard is a gimmick. It would have been nice if Aram had apologised though. The “media” will continue to raise the question. It’s going to be very damaging for Aram and as you say… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

@Eugene UK oh come on ! xD You think Conchita is sad ? No my dear .She is probably even thankful to Armenia’s contestant .After his statement Conchita got 1.000.000 views xD Before nobody cared about her .People were only laughing and suddenly everybody turned into Human rights experts . So I think she just need to say thanks to Aram during drinking coffee with him .
Ah she is Drama Queen . She plays her character very good . : ))

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Hi Charles – Aram MP3 said “I really regret this and want to state clearly that I reject homophobia.”

So he regrets what he said because his Management Team told him to, which is good, but he does not actually offer an APOLOGY to Conchita and the other people he may have hurt. Yet another mistake by Aram. And so it rumbles on and will continue to rumble on no doubt.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I want to congratulate both artist for great PR .Specially Conchita xD .Between I have seen interview where Aram mp3 officially Rejected that he is a homophobic.So calm yourself my girl Conchita xD Both are too funny I would love to see their reaction after meeting each other .

Charles
Guest
Charles

Now Aram delivers another interview to Esctoday where he says he’s sorry for his homophobic remarks basing his apology on the fact that he sings about love and tolerance in his song. How am I suppose to trust people like Aram and Conchita if one never knows if they are being honest or not? They are comedians … they can easily fools us to believe in whatever they want … that’s their power … and this Aram is, once again. doing that … it’s sickening!

Keith
Guest
Keith

Why they choose that guy for Austria is beyond me. If you want to be a half-woman why the beard? I’m glad the eurovision songs are only three minutes, I won’t be watching when he’s on stage!

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Julian: The Tom and Jerry metaphor is spot on .. and I am sad and very disappointed that both Aram and Conchita are seemingly spending more time focusing on their own persona and characters and expecting to gain focus and attention out of their own stupidity than focusing on what really matters: the music! There is a time and place for these guys to play the comedians … and Eurovision it’s not the time and place: as the easily influential televoters who would give 12 points to the smallest mouse running on the Eurovision stage instead of giving them to… Read more »

Lady In Red
Guest
Lady In Red

I am Armenian and I like Conchita, especially her sense of humor.

Julian
Guest
Julian

They are two comedians Tom Neuwirth and Aram Sargsyan. Tom Neuwirth tried hard to find an oppressor first in Belarus but Teo’s cheesecake proved no match. Than in Russia with their anti LGBT law but 2 sisters proved too much for him. And found his perfect Jerry in Aram Sargsyan also a comedian that has a benefit from the association with Tom Neuwirth.

And if you look closely at them, and their actions but first at them, that is a good resemblance with Tom and Jerry show :).

Marcelo N
Guest

@ Lollily – VERY interesting! It’s great to see how you turned that into a poll, and that speaks of your adventurous and hard-working soul 🙂

@ Wiwibloggs – Hello out there?

Lolilly
Guest
Lolilly

Lolilly APR 03, 2014 @ 08:47:49 Heloooooooo everyone! Why are people so full of jealousy? I’m not even going to argue about what Aram said or didn’t say. A normal person, regardless of their sexuality, should know that seeing a woman with a beard is a little strange. When was the last time you saw that? As a psychology professor, (at a major University in California) It was interesting for me to watch Conchita’s video with my students and listen to their opinions. I have 138 students in total and it’s a very diverse group BTW, with only a few… Read more »

Pixy
Guest
Pixy

These aze people are just… impossible))
#trollalert #don’twanttoberude #hatersalert #wiwidosomething

NargizAZE
Guest
NargizAZE

There’s room for everyone in this world, no matter who you are and how you look a like! I just can’t get the people who hates Conchita just because of her appearance, this makes no sense to love or hate someone because of his/her look!

“Even ppl in your country are disgusting !”, “I’m gay and i think the he/she is disgusting.”, “every time I look at this human being’s pictue I feel disgusted…”

Disgusting is these comments and not Conchita, but unfortunately some people can’t even see that! :s PEACE!

Pixy
Guest
Pixy

@Dar well, whatever.
ps: I actually don’t care where you from, it was a rhetorical question.

Stinkerbellen
Guest
Stinkerbellen

All the love for Conchita, for the talent, the voice, the song, the looks, the while package. I hope from the bottom of my heart that she wins. The hateful comments and commentors.. You really need to grow up. Whatever your opinion may be, there are a lot different ways to voice your opinion. You dont have to be rude for one thing. All people regardless of their appearance, sexual orientation, religion, colour, etc… have a right to exist on this planet. And those of you who have impossible time to accept different people are in need if beig educated.… Read more »

Dar
Guest

You don’t need religion to have morals .. Evidence proves that the less religious a country the more civilized it is..
The most atheist countries in the world such as those of Scandinavia are the most socially developed accepting societies..
Get a grip you dirty
Conchita is not immoral it’s just a man with a beard dressed as a woman ..
We all know that the less educated in society are usually the bigots, racists and homophobes ..
Btw I’m not from Scandinavia

Dar
Guest

@pixy , oh yea like christanity has soo many morals .. There is conservatism and then there is just pure hate, discrimation, uneducated views ..

Marcelo N
Guest

STOP THE HORRENDOUS HATE COMMENTS!

Marcelo N
Guest

@ Wiwibloggs We may disagree and even bicker like angry children; but isn’t there really a line to draw? Some comments are repulsively aggressive and full of hate, racism, discrimination and spite. Why publish the horrible comments of some people whose sole intention seems to be using any public forum to insult and degrade? Stating that all gays (or whoever) should die is just as heinous as posting things such as Jordan’s down here. Mind you, we’ve already read barbaric comments by Armenians, Azeris, Azers, Schmazers alike. I say we all post a comment asking for the horrendous hate comments… Read more »

Leon
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Leon

I wish this article was never published. People are so mean here -_-

paulduffy
Guest
paulduffy

I’d rather be proud of Conchita Wurst than Kim Kardashian lol!

Pixy
Guest
Pixy

@Dar they aren’t cave people or animals. Did you ever hear about conservatism? The christian one? For example? No? Where do you live then., in the cave?

Eugene UK
Guest
Eugene UK

Aram MP3 was ill advised to make the comments he did. Perhaps a lack of media training? But now Conchita has had her chance to officially respond to those comments, perhaps she should not make any more comments about it?

The problem is, now that Aram has made the initial comments, the “media” see it as “newsworthy” and it looks like both Aram and Conchita will be continually asked questions about it. Perhaps this story is going to run on and on and on to Aram MP3’s detriment.

Dar
Guest

I notice how the majority of homophobic comments come from people from countries that are less developed socially an in many other aspects ..
The cave people nations !!!!
It’s just a man impersating a woman who happens to have facial hair … Big deal.. What is the fuss all about !!
You uneducated animals!!

JTBelfastFan
Guest
JTBelfastFan

greetings Wiwibloggs from Northern ireland UK 🙂 just have to make a good point here, I really dont like the comments im hearing and by the way its the Eurovision “SONG” Contest not the Eurovision “APPEARANCE” Contest so I hate the fact that your judging Conchita on the way she looks which is completely awful. All it is is a man who likes to dress as a woman for business and has written a goo song for the contest for which I quite like and as for Aram Mp3, I’m i right in thinking is was a comedian before a… Read more »

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

Conchita you don’t need to talk to that homophobic idiot clown called aram mp3. You deserve Eurovision stage while his place is either in the circus or Russia. You are really one of Eurovision favorite worldwide! Ignore those bastards like him! All they know is to agitate lies, hatred, “greatest” armenian “genocide” myth, fake history of their gypsy armenian nation, keep dreaming of having a state with access to the world seas, oceans and win Eurovision with the help of their filthy diaspora! They have been corrupting the countries, nations, politicians, etc. for centuries and now they hate and blame… Read more »

Pixy
Guest
Pixy

So, i guess we know now who spreads the ‘homophobic’ rumors. Nice job Conchita! You used Aram fame very well. It worked perfectly, just like her(lol) beard.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I’m sorry, but black beard + red lipstick on the same face is simply wrong, it looks soooo bad!!!! Maybe a softer shade in the lipstick? I’m just saying….

Amber
Guest
Amber

I don´t care what she is, I don´t like the song that much to be called “the best song” this year, and absolutely no winner in my eyes. I think (s)he(?) is really overrated. The fact a beard-wearing person with a dress is just weird, and I actually think she just wants some attention. The fact that there would be reactions from eastern Europe was kinda predictable anyway, and that´s a nice chance for her to get some chance. And believe me, I´ve got nothing against gay persons. One of my best friends is gay, and I really don´t mind.… Read more »

Marcelo N
Guest

@ Gyunay – If I had that much money to spare, I might consider investing in education in a country like yours, not the supposed “lobby” you’re hopelessly hinting at… a lot of good that would do!

@ Meiko, or should we say Mr. Putin & Friends in Disguise: Wow wow wow, calm down, honey! Just as I should not come into a NeoNazi din wearing my yarmulke, or hand in hand with your brother along your street, you should know better than coming around here puking so much uncalled-for hatred.

Iggy
Guest
Iggy

Great PR project for Conchita i should say! 🙂 the only bad thing is that you’re playing with someone’s name, who considered as the main favourite of 2014 Eurovision Song Contest :/ greetings from Austria 😉 xx

Gyunay
Guest
Gyunay

That awakward moment when you want to write womething about Conchita and you don’t know what to say HE/She or It … every time I look at this human being’s pictue I feel disgusted… I am from Azerbaijan and all the world knows that we hate Armenians… but i will much like to see Armenia winning this year then Austria ! Cus this chick already is overrated … and LGBT pays much money for her being in top 5 …

Meiko
Guest
Meiko

Ok calm this sh*t down… Someone who has look like THIS shouldn’t even exist in the world… and Eurovision organizers must not allowed this undiscovered enimal to participate in this contest …. This is NOT about gays, lesbians ect …. This is about huans and the ones like this ! STOP DOUNG THIS IDIOT’S PROPAGANDA !

Frank Les Pays Bas
Guest
Frank Les Pays Bas

Aram Mp3 is just as much hyped as Conchita, they are (ab)using the fact that they get free publicity and thats how the game works. Both song should go through but don’t deserve to be top 3, I really hope this year will have a surprise winner.

Marcelo N
Guest

When did PR used wisely and strategically –without attacking anyone– become unacceptable? I thought we still lived on Planet Earth.

Well Done
Guest
Well Done

Really like Tom and his stage persona Conchita. Great answer to the question about Dana International.

Best wishes to Austria in May!

Alec
Guest
Alec

I’m gay and i think the he/she is disgusting. I hope she doesn’t qualify. I don’t understand how the he/she wears a dress but keeps the beard. The song is weak and boring as well. I like Eurovision but the contest is already so campy and cheesy; it just perpetuates the stereotype that all gays are fem queens. Me and many of my gay friends think drag personas are awful.

Bogdan Honciuc
Guest

I am happy that I can throw my support behind Conchita during her semi-final (my country is also in 2nd semi). She’s a real artist and a beautiful human being, inside and out. Haters are obviously blinded by ignorance and intolerance if they don’t see how great she is. Plus, her song is great and a real inspiration, which is perfect!

Go Conchita! 12 points from Romania.

Ember
Guest
Ember

Is this Eurovision Contest or GAY/LESBIAN/Homophobes contest … STOP it …. Eurovision Already looses it’s value

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

This Conchita is soo pure … She tries to use the words against her for doing her own promotion … poor manners conchita… You really don’t even deserve to participate in this concert … 0 points

Adriana
Guest
Adriana

I am not saying Austrian ppl are disgusting,,, I am sayind that they are disgusted from her … I even found a group in facebook that many ppl don’t want to see her in ecs … I am not against LGBT but she really is disgusting for me… And the fact that she is trying to use Armenia’s participant for doung her own PR is soo abvious …

Thiefo
Guest
Thiefo

I like her attitude, she obviously know of the negativity that surrounds her but that doesn’t make her tremble, she stands by her beliefs and continues to be strong with her message and most importantly; she could pay with the same coin and attack her opposers but she doesn’t. For that she gains my respect.