Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst has faced mixed reactions after her song Rise Like a Phoenix took the top prize at this year’s Eurovision Song Content.
The 25-year-old performer, whose birth name is Tom Neuwirth, has described her victory as one that “transcends borders” and is “based on tolerance and respect”.
However, outspoken members of the European community have disagreed, sharing their disapproval of the controversial decision.
“There’s no limit to our outrage. It’s the end of Europe. It has turned wild. They don’t have men and women any more. They have ‘it’,” said Nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky on Rossiya-1 state television.
“Fifty years ago the Soviet army occupied Austria. We made a mistake in freeing Austria. We should have stayed.”
Meanwhile, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said the result “showed supporters of European integration their European future: a bearded girl”.
Hip-hop performer Timati called the win a result of the “mental illness of contemporary society” on his Instagram account.
The reactions did not come as a surprise to Wurst, who said her win made a statement to anti-gay politicians.
“This was of course directed against some politicians that we know and I just wanted to tell them that in the end good always wins and is unstoppable,” she told reporters on Sunday, admitting that Russian president Vladimir Putin was included on that list.
Fortunately, the majority of social media users have wholeheartedly supported Wurst, whose confidence has won the hearts of many.
Inspired by the recent winner of Eurovision.. pic.twitter.com/egj8Gce2oI
— Jacob Dixon (@Justabitofjacob) May 11, 2014
Well deserved winner, certainly not a novelty act. Got goosebumps when she thrust the trophy in the air after the little speech! #Eurovision
— Martyn Littlewood (@InTheLittleWood) May 10, 2014