Few Eurovision fans can forget the dramatic moment when Conchita Wurst accepted her Eurovision trophy and shouted, “We are unstoppable!” It left such an impression that the organisers behind Zurich Pride have named an award after the Eurovision winner. Gabriel, an editor at Swiss News Agency sda, was on hand and has filed this special report.
Conchita Wurst visited Zurich last Friday, where she performed at the Pride Festival and received an award named after her. Before that, she talked to the Swiss media about homophobic politicians in Switzerland, her plans for her first album and what it means to win the first ever “Unstoppable Award”.
Literally everyone at the press conference was eager to hear from the bearded lady about the recent inflammatory comments from right-wing politician and member of the Swiss parliament Toni Bortoluzzi. Bortoluzzi said homosexuals were “misguided” and had a “brain lobe, that runs the wrong way”.
“I have my brain lobe here with me,” Wurst said in Zurich with a smile. “But I don’t get angry over these type of homophobic comments. I just wonder if these people really don’t know, deep inside, that they’re actually saying nonsense. They just disqualify themselves with what they say.”
Unstoppable: The Conchita Wurst Award
Wurst then expressed her gratitude towards the organizers of the Zurich Pride Festival for creating a new award that honors her. The first “Unstoppable: The Conchita Wurst Award” was given to this year’s ESC-winner to honour her fight for tolerance. “It’s overwhelming to win an award,” Wurst said. “But having an award named after me leaves me speechless.”
The award will have a new winner each year and Conchita will have a vote when it comes time to decide on future winners. “I’m going to work hard, so that this prize becomes one of the most famous awards in the German-speaking countries,” she said.
The award itself is a little sculpture formed from an imprint of one of Wurst’s hands. The prize does not come with a cash award, but organizers are already speaking with possible sponsors regarding future editions.
Album release “hopefully this year”
Asked about her musical plans, Conchita admitted that she appears to be a step behind her growing celebrity. “I don’t have an album out yet, so I take the freedom to focus on the tolerance aspect for the moment,” she said. “But music is the love of my life and, of course, I am working on that as well.” The album should be released “hopefully this year.” She didn’t say anything about the style of music she has in mind. “All I know is, it will have to be music that comes 100 per cent from the heart, whether the songs sound commercial or not.” She said that “Rise Like a Phoenix” wasn’t a commercial song, but that it worked.
The visit marked Wurst’s first trip to Zurich. She had previously been to Lucerne.
“Unfortunately, as I go to so many places, I usually only get to see airports and hotels. But that’s fine. Al least I get an idea, whether I want to come back or not. And I definitely want to come back to Zurich,” she said.
Celebrating the award winner
Wurst then appeared on stage on the Kasernenareal, the open-air venue, where the Zurich Pride Festival took place. Swiss TV host Kurt Aeschbacher, who presented Switzerland’s points during this year’s ESC, gave an emotional speech honoring Wurst before she finally received the “Unstoppable Award”, surrounded by thousands of people cheering and applauding. Aeschbacher especially appreciated Wurst’s contribution to raise tolerance in all of Europe.
The bearded drag queen then sang her version of Cher’s “Believe”, “That’s What I am” and “Rise Like a Phoenix”. The fans went crazy and sang along especially to the winnig title of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. As the public begged for an encore, Conchita just said: “Do you really want more? Fine. But you’ve been warned.” Then she sang her version of Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on.”