Eurovision Song Contest 2014’s winner, Conchita Wurst, is known worldwide as a gorgeous bearded drag queen with stunning vocal skills and an amazing sense of fashion. But have you ever wondered what she looks like out of drag?
We’d like to introduce you to Thomas Neuwirth, the 25-year-old Austrian man hiding under the makeup, wig and beard.
Before he was known as Conchita, Thomas had an early musical career success in 2006 after competing on the Austrian TV show ‘Starmania’. He took second place.
In the aftermath of the breakup, Thomas created the drag persona of Conchita. He relates ‘Wurst,’ her surname, to a German expression that translates to mean “it’s all the same to me.”
His decision to give the character a beard is “a statement to say that you can achieve anything, no matter who you are or how you look.”
As with most drag queens, Thomas prefers the use of male pronouns when he is out of drag and female pronouns while in drag.
Thomas has even given Conchita a fictional back story in which Conchita was born in the mountains of Columbia and is married to a French burlesque dancer named Jacques Patriaque (who is actually one of Thomas’ real-life friends).
Thomas compares his character of Conchita to Sasha Fierce, the fictional character and alter ego created by American pop diva BeyoBeyoncé>
In 2011, Thomas competed on the reality TV competition show ‘Die große Chance.’ This was the first time he debuted Conchita on Austrian national television.
The following year Thomas competed in the Austrian National Finals for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Although he placed second against Austrian hip-hop band Trackshittaz, the final vote was only seperated by 2%.
Thomas, as Conchita, gained worldwide recognition when it was announced on May 8, 2014 that he had won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Conchita’s win marked Austira’s first victory in the contest since 1966.
On July 9, 2014, Conchita made her runway modeling career in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Parish hot couture fashion show. She was given the prestigious closing runway walk, a position typically reserved for the most famous or well-known model.
Currently, Conchita is traveling the world meeting her fans and is working on her first album, which is said to draw influence from “mature ladies” such as Cher, Shirley Bassey and Tina Turner.