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Triumph of the ‘bearded lady’: Conchita Wurst wins Eurovision Song Contest for Austria

11/05/14 03:10 CET

The most talked-about act before the competition, Austria’s Conchita Wurst has won the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with “Rise Like a Phoenix”.

The drag performer, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, developed a consistent lead as voting progressed, and ended up with 290 points.

More than 50 points behind, The Netherlands came second with 238 points, with Sweden in third on 218.

The “bearded lady”, as the 25-year-old is known, had stirred controversy especially in some eastern European countries.

But no fewer than 13 countries gave her a maximum 12 points.

“This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable,” the winner said as she was presented with the trophy.

The contest is not supposed to be political but Russia’s entry was booed – nothing to do with its teenage twin contestants and everything to do with its policies on Ukraine and gay rights.

There was again disappointment for Britain and Molly Smitten-Downes who came 17th – and especially for France who finished last.

But the night belonged to Conchita Wurst – whose triumph gives Austria its first Eurovision victory since 1966.

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