The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — have come together to marvel at the glorious “Rise Like a Phoenix” by Austria’s Conchita Wurst. With fiery winged staging and a Bond-esque ballad to boot, it was always going to be one to remember. Pair that with an iconic performer and you have Eurovision wrapped up.
In 2014, we had the year of the surprise. Armenia were odds on to take it all, with huge promise showing for Sweden, Hungary and even host nation Denmark. But the top three looked nothing like this. Sure we had Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen taking third spot, but two entries that were languishing with the bookies stole the show at their respective semi-finals. The Netherlands’ Common Linnets and the epic queen from Austria, Conchita Wurst. “Rise Like a Phoenix” is an anthem of hope, where one can rise from the ashes after adversity.
Conchita took it all in a time where the continent needed uniting — the whole reason the contest was founded back in the 1950s. The bearded diva was a game-changer presented at exactly the right time, and the audience felt the message. She is still one of the most famous performers at the contest to date, but do our Jury still get those tingles half a decade later?
Conchita Wurst – “Rise Like a Phoenix”
“Rise Like a Phoenix” reviews
Robyn: Conchita had a lot of strong competition in 2014 — any of the top three could have won and it wouldn’t have felt like a robbery. But that night in Copenhagen belonged to Tom Neuwirth’s glamorous alter ego. Conchita elevated “Rise Like a Phoenix” from a Bond theme to a stand-out performance with particular resonance for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s an entry that I keep coming back to, with the performance standing up as a masterwork of Eurovision excellence. If the 2010s should be remembered for one Eurovision performance, it should be “Rise Like a Phoenix”.
Lucy: “Rise Like A Phoenix” is about rising from the ashes after adversity and not letting anyone tear you down. Never has the continent needed an anthem like this more than in 2014, and Conchita’s talent and message was a no-brainer on the night. Simple, classy and powerful. This will be one of those performances even non-Eurofans will always remember. I do personally prefer other songs from that year, but when it comes to overall package on the night, it had to be Conchita didn’t it?
Deban: My love for “Rise Like a Phoenix” hasn’t dimmed. Conchita’s evolution and lately tumultuous road to self-discovery has added value to the message of the song. In three minutes, Conchita made it permissible to hybrid strong elements of femininity and masculinity, whilst her message of tolerance took Europe by storm. She was crowned the people’s Queen of Austria and her victory remains one of the highlights of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Oliver: On May 10th 2014, the whole of Europe stood to watch one of the most prolific moments in Eurovision history and will remain as such for many years to come. Watching Conchita rise through the competition, going in as an outsider and leaving as a victor is something inspirational and gives great meaning to her “We are unstoppable” speech after being crowned winner. “Rise Like a Phoenix” has this powerful, uplifting aura around it and being coupled with a clear message that everyone can relate to make it a timeless classic that will be remembered forever.
Barnabas: “Rise Like a Phoenix” is one of the most memorable songs and performances in the history of the contest, and, it has also become a song for those who have to overcome big obstacles in life. A great effort both musically and staging wise, and also a worthy winner.
Florian: Conchita is one of the most iconic contestants in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. And while many only consider that due to her appearance, most of all the performance and thus the song are behind the tremendous success story. Unlike any other song before (and ever since), it really touches upon a personal subject but relates to so many others having the same issues to stand up against. And sonically, “Rise Like a Phoenix” had it from the beginning given the respectable effort behind the composition.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 5 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 8.5/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
— Conchita WURST (@ConchitaWurst) May 18, 2019