Austria wins Eurovision Song Contest 2014

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 10.29.23 pm.jpgWe could be headed to Vienna for the 60th Eurovision Song Contest after Austria’s ‘bearded lady’ Conchita Wurst wowed Copenhagen with her song “Rise Like a Phoenix.”

The “Queen of Austria” (aka Thomas Neuwirth) impressed with her poise, vocals and Bond-like theme, gathering plenty of buzz in the week leading up to the final.

“This night is dedicated to everyone who believes int he future of peace and freedom. You know who you atre. We are a unity and we are unstoppable,” she said.

Conchita Wurst is not the first time a progressive gender performer has won Eurovision, with Israel’s Dana International winning in 1998 with her aptly-titled song, “Diva.”

The Netherlands came second and Sweden took third place.

Denmark staged a dazzling spectacle of light, pyrotechnics and effects on a giant, multipurpose cube, with a green-room in the middle of the auditorium (and a generous nod to Australia this year with the inclusion of Jessica Mauboy in Semi Final 2).

The show included trampolines, a see-saw, circular pianos, acrobats, ice skaters, rain, colourful suits, whistling, dance numbers, stirring ballads, a dash of rock, an Aclazar cameo, some momentary booing (for Russia) and butter-churning. No, really.

Special mention to 2013 winner Emmelie de Forest for her uplifting interval performance “Rainmaker.” The Shakira-like song featured tribes of dancers, splashing in a Eurovision moat and joined onstage by this year’s acts and an elated, warbling Arena.

SBS hosts Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang put in another entertaining narration, deftly balancing the Eurotragic-love and cynicism (including a solo chanting from Zemiro).

Austria also won the SBS viewer vote with 74,434 votes. Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen came in second with her song ‘Undo’ receiving 53,562 votes, which was followed by The Netherlands’ The Common Linnets with ‘Calm After The Storm’ on 33,990 votes.

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This post updates.


  1. Austria was one of our Top 5 so I’m pleased she won. I actually liked The Netherlands best – you just don’t hear much alt country at Eurovision! Poland’s soft porn routine was hilariously awful. Julia and Sam were in fine form this year. My favourite gag was the one about Russia being caught trying to invade Ukraine’s dressing room…felt slightly sorry for the Russian teens by the end but they should take it up with Putin.

  2. jezza the first original one

    Poland was robbed

    Beautiful voice and a stunning stage presence

    As for Euro, it has become so political over the years, with voting quite often following traditional allegiances, so you never know if the best song won, its all down to personal taste I guess. I just follow the hottest babe who sounds ok….

    I think some of the anti-Russian sentiment expressed in other messages, borders on vilification. There are much worse countries than Russia when it comes to attitudes towards gay/lesbian policy, most of Africa, all of the Islamic world and by the end of this year Brunei will stone to death anyone who is openly gay. So in this context making Putin a hate figure is very much a sideshow

  3. This is the first year I have watched Eurovision in full and I loved it. Congratulations to Austria I loved the song and the performance was just wonderful to see. It was fantastic to see Jess Mauboy on such a huge international stage, while I think nerves got the better of her performance it was still a great coup for Australia.

    As a first time viewer I don’t have other years to compare to but I though the staging and lighting etc was amazing, the auditorium it was stagged in looked huge.SBS’s coverage was fantastic and Jula and Sam perfect.

  4. Hmmm…Conchita was OK but don’t think he/she deserved to win.
    The bizarre “bearded lady” gimmick won it for him/her I think – no way they would have won if they were just another plain old female singer.

    The Netherlands, Sweden and even Ukraine’s “Tick Tock” and their Hamster wheel man were better.

  5. I would love if Russia and the other former Soviet states boycott Austria next year – not for the drama so much but to show them up for their blatant homophobia. It is no wonder Russia was booed each time they got points.

  6. Not surprisingly the Russian politicians and celebrities are already complaining about the win. One pollie in a newspaper article, even had the nerve to suggest “We used to occupy Austria. Maybe we should have stayed there”

    And the crowd showed it’s displeasure when Russia got votes.

    I wonder if they are going to launch an investigation into Georgia, after it jury was disqualified, after each member selected the same song with the same amount of points. And had to rely on tele-votes instead.

    Going to be interesting to see what countries turn up next year.

  7. Oh and also – huge congratulations to the Aussie hosts, Julia Zemiro & Sam Pang who did a great job hosting (I think their best ever), as well as to SBS who clearly went all out with the production and social media efforts. Well done.

  8. @Guy – did you ever consider that Conchita’s song (and effortless performance) was the reason she won? We can cry “protest vote” all we want, but in my opinion, her song was the best of the night. The fact it was a bearded drag queen was something I almost forgot about once she started singing, such was her brilliant performance. Furthermore, she won despite deeply homophobic countries like Russia and Ukraine contributing to the tally. Hopefully, Vladimir Putin is having an aneurysm as we speak.

  9. The reason for Conchita’s appearance with beard shows how insecure people are when someone is different. People can’t get over appearance. Try to see a person with feeling like you.

  10. Started out as a possible gimmick but a strong song and assured performance made it a worthy winner, while it really felt like across Europe people were really making a point to those countries somewhat behind the times. Quite refreshing too to see more mentions of “Bond theme” than “Bearded lady” when it came to her performance.

  11. Congrats to the winner and nothing against her but i think Europe was making a statement to the world electing her the winner. It was well deserved though but i was going for Sweden and really surprised that Spain and GB tallied so low. I thought they were the top 4 performers for the night. Maybe they were disadvantaged because they don’t make an appearance until the final. I know as a follower of reality tv, the more you see someone the more you like them.

    To SBS you do the best coverage each and every year and Julia Zemiro deserves a logie i tell you but there are times where i wish they wouldn’t talk over a few things. Bring on Austria 2015.

  12. Best line of the night goes to Sam Pang for his cheeky line of ‘What are the chances of Ukraine getting points here’ when Russia was giving their votes.

  13. Surprised France did so so bad, I thought the mostache song was classic Eurovision. Greece’s trampoline performance was really catchy, that didn’t do well either.
    Julia and Sams coverage of the point distribution is always a tv highlight of the year, loved all the fat gags about Malta, and the Italians giving Poland so many points.

  14. Maev....Sydney

    I could not get my head around the appearance of this person….bit confusing…for me…took away from the performance….
    Well done to SBS….excellent coverage!

  15. Congrats to Austria. Epic song and brilliant performance by Conchita. Well deserved.

    Congrats to all involved with SBS’s Eurovision coverage this year too. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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