In the run-up to Amsterdam Pride, Conchita WURST sat down with Dutch TV host Eva Jinek for an insightful and revealing interview. He looks back at Eurovision, talks about his visual and artistic transformation, meeting Celine Dion, being an LGBT icon — and even jokes that he wants to co-host ESC 2020!
Take a look at the full interview here, which luckily for us, is spoken all in English with Dutch subtitles.
Like many artists, Conchita is a perfectionist and sometimes his own worst critic. Even when looking back at his iconic Eurovision win, he cannot help but look for ways to improve his performance.
“When I’m invited to shows like this I see those pictures and I’m like ‘you were flat there, and sharp there, and that was not the right thing to say and your hair was not that good’ — I’m an artist!”
Following his Eurovision win, “the whole mood, especially in Austria, completely changed. Because when they announced that I would be representing Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest there were petitions against me, and the mood completely changed and all of a sudden I was the hero of the country.”
Conchie is full of praise for the Dutch runners-up of Eurovision 2014, the Common Linnets: “’Calm After the Storm’ was such a massive hit. No radio station played ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, everybody played the Common Linnets, so you won actually!”
“I don’t really pay too much attention to anybody’s opinion. I’m very self-centred. I’ve never really asked for permission to do anything, I’ve always wanted to fulfil my dreams, I’ve always wanted to create my version of the best life I could live. I wanted to look like that because I thought ‘this is the most beautiful I can look’.”
“There are some moments of insecurity, of course, because society told us the way we should feel and think and that the opinion of others is sometimes more important than our own which is not true. But I’m so thankful that in my inner core, I know that I have to make myself happy.”
The Conchita we see today is very different from the ‘bearded lady’ we saw on the Eurovision stage. When asked what caused his creative evolution, he explains “I got bored. I got so bored. I was stuck in this diva, Celine Dion-esque figure… everyday was the same with the pretty hair, and it was beautiful but I have to evolve and I have to entertain myself”.
“Back in the day when I performed as Conchita in a dress, that was the version that I was feeling, that was the version that I wanted to be because with all the makeup and stuff, you’re a little bit stronger, you dare a little but more, because you have the masquerade”.
“It was always just a disguise, and it was always just a version of me, and I think if you limit yourself you can only go so far.”
What do you think? Would you like to see Conchita host Eurovision 2020 alongside Eva Jinek? Let us know in the comments!