The Austrian singer won the live televised pop contest by a landslide with her anthem "Rise Like a Phoneix."
An Austrian drag queen sporting a full beard has won Europe's most popular televised song competition.
Conchita Wurst, the drag persona for Austrian singer Thomas Neuwirth, looked a bit like a cross between a Bond Girl and a Monty Python sketch when she took the stage in a full length golden gown to belt out her winning tune Rise Like A Phoenix on the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest, held Saturday night in Copenhagen.
The competition is the most-watched non-sporting event on European television, with up to 170 million viewers tuning in.
Wurst generated a lot of attention, as well as controversy, ahead of the Eurovision finals, with a Russian politician calling for a boycott of the competition because of her participation. Vitaly Milonov, who was influential in passing Russia's anti-gay propaganda law, said the bearded singer, who he called the "pervert from Austria" represented "blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay." He called for a boycott of the show.
Wurst had the last laugh though. Her power ballad - and her sultry live performance - won over the call-in voters as well as the national juries. Taking the stage, Wurst dedicated her win to "a future of peace and freedom." In a nod to the many dedicated Eurovision fans in the LGBT community, Wurst added: "we are unity and we are unstoppable."
This isn't the first time a LGBT performer has won Eurovision. In 1998, the pop title went to Dana International, a transgender singer from Israel, for the title Diva.
(story thanks to The Hollywood Reporter)