Pop Music Nice Time: Austrian Drag Queen Wins Eurovision, Will Probably Make Russia Gay
Do you know what Eurovision is? Haha, you do not, because you are (likely) A American and interested in patriotic things like steaks and apple pies and baseball and cowboys and guns and American Idol and The Voice, also, too. The Eurovision Song Contest does not stack up compared to those things in American eyes, although we do suppose that that could be because the contest’s called Eurovision, which is a good way of making sure that Americans do not come in and sweep the contest, like we do at the Olympics every two years, like jerks.
Eurovision is a pop song contest that’s been running since 1956, probably because everybody needed something to politely squabble over, what with no more world wars to fight. Each year, an assortment of European countries send their blandest, most marketable pop singers to sing for a panel of judges from across the continent, who vote on who is made of the cheesiest milquetoast. For context, previous winners have included ABBA, Celine Dion, and Julio Iglesias. And it goes down that way forever, every year, except for 2006, when Finland sent robot demon hell monsters Lordi to win the contest:
That was kind of a fluke. But we do like the hat.
So yes, sometimes Eurovision is not the safest, blandest place. And sometimes there aren’t even demon hell monsters involved, just terrifying queers put on earth to ruin Russia’s day.
That fabulous woman is Conchita Wurst, drag persona of Austrian singer Tom Neuwirth. She sang her song “Rise Like A Phoenix” on Saturday and swept Eurovision with a 52-point margin. Power ballads aren’t really our thing, but we are just so delighted, especially because she’s treating this like she didn’t win for Austria, but rather for the Queer Nation:
“I share the opinion that this was not a victory just for me but for the people who believe in a future that works without discrimination and is based on tolerance and respect. This transcends borders,” the 25-year-old “queen of Europe” said. “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.
She is basically kind and gracious and the best, and makes our little black hearts warm up and glow with happy rainbow colors. You know who doesn’t give us that reaction? We will give you one guess:
[Russian] Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter that the Eurovision result “showed supporters of European integration their European future: a bearded girl.”
“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’,” nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Rossiya-1 state television. “Fifty years ago the Soviet army occupied Austria. We made a mistake in freeing Austria. We should have stayed.”
Ew, Vladimir and/or Dmitry, no boys are going to want to kiss you if you say those things. But we’re sure that there’s no way that creepy nationalist rhetoric crossed over into Russia’s Eurovision entry, right?
Russia’s entrants — 17-year-old twins Anastasia and Maria Tolmachevy — were booed by the audience during their semi-final performance … It doesn’t help that Russia’s love song features lyrics that some see as hinting at a border incursion. It goes, “…living on the edge, closer to the crime, cross the line, one step at a time … maybe there’s a day you’ll be mine.”
Oh. Never mind. That is like the “Blurred Lines” of international politics, right there.
Fuck those guys. Today, Queerland just won Eurovision with its excellent drag queen Bond girl anthem. Pop open a thing of champagne and celebrate, because Saturday was the day that, against all odds, Eurovision somehow got gayer.