Song Of The Day 5/8/2014: Conchita Wurst - "Rise Like A Phoenix"

[UPDATE May 10 -- "Rise Like A Phoenix" just won the Eurovision Song Contest.]

I’m Ovision – Eurovision!: Yesterday I declared Poland the winner and tried to call off the Eurovision Song Contest, but my words went unheeded, or missed the last air mail to Copenhagen. So I guess they're still going to have the thing. I'll accept that, if only because it allows me to continue this feature with the official contestant from Austria.

It is from Conchita Wurst, the drag persona of one Tom Neuwirth. As you can see Conchita leaves one specific feature intact in her transformation from en Mann to eine Frau, which I admit in all my exposure to modes of dress I have never quite encountered before. Rather than come to a snap judgment for a cheap laugh, though, the other night I asked my wife, who I just assume has a deeper knowledge about events that transpire at dance clubs:
Paul: Hey.

Kate: Hey.

Paul: How's the show?

Kate: Good.

Paul: That's good. That's good. Say, I was wondering, did you ever know any drag queens who didn't shave their facial hair?

(Long thoughtful pause)

Kate: Well, it's rare. There were some "bears" who sometimes dressed up in drag and didn't shave first.

Paul: But in general, as standard practice, they usually shaved first?

Kate: Yes. I'd say that's the rule of thumb.

Paul: Oh, okay. Thanks.

Kate: You're welcome.

Paul: Enjoy your show. I'll be back in a couple weeks.

Kate: I'll keep dinner warm.
So the Divine Ms. Wurst, after a few years of trying, has finally been accepted to represent Austria at this year's Eurovision Song Contest, with the resolutely diva-esque "Rise Like A Phoenix." Oddsmakers say this song would have a strong chance to sup up the prize if it weren't for a couple of apparently bulletproof nominees from Sweden and Albania, neither of which I'm featuring this week. [UPDATE May 10 -- ahh, see that update above.]

Interesting postscript: Lest you believe homophobia is now exclusively in the province of gaseous God pitchmen and their shrinking, subjective consorts in America, I hear tell it's running amok in Eastern Europe as well. An online petition (which you can Google your own self if you need to see it so much) circulated in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus to have Wurst banned from the Eurovision Song Contest. The appeal read in part: "The popular international competition that our children will be watching has become a hotbed of sodomy at the initiation of the European liberals."

Which isn't a great analogy, because I suspect a hotbed of sodomy is frequently a more entertaining experience than the Eurovision Song Contest. Or... um, so I've heard.

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