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!

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Melissa
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“I’ve always wanted to fulfil my dreams, I’ve always wanted to create my version of the best life I could live” Oh, how much I appreciate these words! So TRUE. Can’t wait for the new music.

Elisabeth
Guest
Elisabeth

T.O.M. WURST covers a wide spectrum: Sings classical songs, ballads and electro pop. He is a great entertainer, his costumes / outfits are legendary. He has charm and is a great personality. He combines everything the music and entertainment scene needs. He was a great host of LifeBall and Ambassador EuroPride 2019 Vienna. It would be great to see him again at ESC 2020.

Jonny
Guest
Jonny

Her English is a lot worse than it used to be. She’s struggling to come up with vocabulary she used to easily use. Guess that’s what happens when nobody but a German speaking public is interested in her anymore.

Golden Boy
Guest
Golden Boy

So inspirational! I dont know about hosting because i dont know about her sense of humor and i want Eurovision hosts to be funny. But i really respect her/him as an artist.

Viktoria
Guest
Viktoria

it was a joke about hosting…but he is really funny and as a greenroom host during esc15 – Conchita was brilliant, so I wouldn’t mind to see him in the Netherlands ;D

Petra
Guest
Petra

Great artist , great voice and his new music is faboulus. Love to see and hear more of Tom Neuwirth

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Conchita is the real Tom Neuwirth.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

The same people who don’t get Conchita are the same people who don’t get Hatari. I must say that I didn’t really connect with Rise Like A Phoenix, but as an artist, truly outstanding.

INAMOO
Guest
INAMOO

Underrated art. I enjoyed Conchita’s latest music videos.

Kobe
Guest
Kobe

Can’t wait for the new album…

Carina Winter
Guest
Carina Winter

Tom Neuwirth is a great artist and a born entertainer besides being a charming & lovely private person.
He´s over his Celion Dion-Phase and I really do like the new electropop music – his voice is magical, whatever direction he will go, let´s follow.

Ern
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Ern

Folks, Conchita was always a CHARACTER !!!

Conchita was a high-concept act that provoked people into thinking and feeling, and made us question gender paradigms. Now, the artist is a different character doing something else.

Very talented and creative person.

DEAL WITH YOURSELF
Guest
DEAL WITH YOURSELF

‘creative evolution’ means “it doesn’t work anymore, I have to be santa claus now”
you really do believe anything ANYTHING

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

If he was still performing as Conchita, you’d probably say he keeps relying on the same gimmick. People always find a reason to be negative.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

Thanks a lot for your last sentence. Truer words have never been spoken!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Conchita is so cool because he keeps reinventing himself but doesn’t undersell Eurovision or his time doing it like it was some kind of “inauthentic” self. He also was a lot kinder to the Common Linnets than Waylon was to him.

pepe
Guest
pepe

What did Waylon do? (And yes I know he can be an @sshole, but I don’t think he ever was that to Conchita.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWuSKDwtHLo

“beautiful winner”
“she is like the symbol for eurovision”

Joe
Guest
Joe

I could’ve sworn there was one (like the one right after the final) where he sort of dismissively said that gaudy acts like Conchita are the kind that win as opposed to stuff like “Calm After the Storm.”

pepe
Guest
pepe

I think last year he said something about eurovision as a circus and Netta’s Toy. But I can’t remember him saying something negative about Conchita.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Yeah, maybe you confused Waylon with Aram Mp3 and his uncomfortable question about deciding whether Conchita wants to be a man or a woman?

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

“Israel is the rightful winner if we talk about what we are always talking about: the circus and the craziness. But what I just said, it will not add up to much change in [that type of] Eurovision. And that’s what I think is sad. Something should change one time. Last time, it was a woman with a beard, now it’s a chicken.”
That does sound kinda degrading towards Conchita.
https://wiwibloggs.com/2018/05/13/the-netherlands-waylon-israel-rightful-winner-eurovision-circus-craziness/223231/

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Her parents are from the Czech Republic apparently.
A fun fact which Czech people might like, if she next might host it 🙂
But her being born and growing up in the US gives her that really American accent, which is good, since not all hosts in the previous years were that comfortable at speaking English.

Ischler
Guest
Ischler

This isn’t true. His parents are from Gmunden and once I met his grandma, she was very Austrian. And he grew up in Austria and went to school in Graz. I’m afraid you’re talking about another character, but not Tom or Conchita. 😉

Jonas
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Jonas

I think Bigger is talking about Eva Jinek?

Victoria
Guest
Victoria

Great interview, Tom is so lovely! He’s not afraid to do experiments, to change himself. It’s great that he follows his own rules, he does what he wants and it definitely makes him happier. I like the new style, but the most important is TALENT, that was, is and will be there always

KESC
Guest
KESC

Wow, Eva’s English is very good. I know that most Dutch people speak proper English, but her English seems very fluent. I don’t really know her, but maybe the Dutch broadcaster could approach her as a host for next year.

Edit: Ok, just found out that she was born and grew up in America, but anyway 😀

pepe
Guest
pepe

She was born and grew up in the States. So she speaks English as a native. And yes, she is rumoured to be a host next year.

James
Guest
James

It is said that the Dutch language is the closest relative to English in the Germanic family of languages so it could be that it’s easier for Dutch-speakers to switch to English without difficulty in saying certain words in the language with the right intonations. At least from how I hear Ilse and Duncan speak in their interviews, their accents when speaking English made them sound almost neutral General American. The way they say Dutch words that contain an “-r” sound is probably the best part about listening to Dutch. Standard German, which I’m more used hearing, sounds like English… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

German, Dutch, and English always surprise me by how similar they are.

KESC
Guest
KESC

Here in Germany we always say that Dutch sounds kind of like a mix of English and German.