Sunday, 11 May 2014

THE finale has finished and the winner has been crowned. Austria has been appointed to host next year's show thanks to Conchita Wurst's brilliant performance of her song, "Rise Like a Phoenix". Good luck Austria, you have huge shoes to fill after the wonderful and spectacular show put up by Denmark.

I absolutely love the winning song. Not only for the message behind it but also for the song in itself. It's a powerful ballad, very James Bond with a hint of Shirley Bassey, so much so that many have tweeted for this to feature in the next 007 film. However, that is not what caught the audience's total attention. For those of you who have been living under a rock or in another continent, Conchita Wurst's birth name is Thomas "Tom" Neuwirth, but better known as Wurst for his drag persona. However, Wurst uses feminine pronouns when referring to herself when in the drag persona. In summary, her image is a bearded lady. Yes, a lady with a beard. Most people probably take the mickey out of her and the beard, but there is a significance to it, which I personally highly respect.

First of all, the following are just my note takings and thoughts. Secondly, this is all about opinions and respect. It's okay if you don't agree. It's normal. Also, this blog is not about Eurovision. It so happens that I have dedicated 3 of my posts to it.

At the end of the day, it was good marketing. Seeing a woman in a beard calls for instant attention, which is undoubtedly what she and the rest of the team wanted. Needless to say, a lot of controversies were raised when she was announced as the Austrian choice, and I am sure this was expected. Maybe it was even part of the plan. By drawing all this attention to herself, and the song, it automatically SHOULD draw some closeness to the message. In my opinion, everything about the whole Austrian package was connected to the message, that of Equality and Unity. From the unique image, to the music, to the lyric,s to the beards passed to the other delegations and fans to wear as support for the song and message.

I have already mentioned the Bond/Bassey inspired music being in itself noticeable, as well as the infamous image, but now let's talk a bit about the lyrics. The song is called "Rise Like a Phoenix", and it is about the insecure situation before you have fully shown yourself and been accepted. The chorus clearly states "You have been warned/Once I'm transformed/Once I'm reborn/I will rise like a phoenix/And you're my flame." It is a song with "... a story of going through bad times and struggling through difficult things, and growing out of it and hopefully becoming a better person," she said. "For me of course it's so close to my life ... emotionally, growing up."

Clearly, the majority of Europe liked the message or maybe just the song, voted, and crowned her as the winner. It is after all, a very good and catchy song. The power-ballad is beautiful.

I personally believe these little details were all planned, whether purposely or not. I think the former is highly probable of what happened. I think it was a great cause for her to tackle such a sensitive subject, and hopefully many see farther than just the image, and into the message of freedom, unity and equality.

Wurst then gave an iconic winning speech as she accepted her trophy: "This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom... We are unity and we are unstoppable." Then proceeded to fabulously rising the trophy into the air. She also changed the pronouns in the very last chorus when she performed as the winner at the end of the show from "I" to "we", making the lyrics "Once we're transformed/Once we're reborn". Cheeky diva.

I'm very curious to know whether or not I'm the only one who have given this whole thing some thought. Kudos to Austria if this has been the case.

Maria x

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