100 best things Conchita has done from 2014 to 2017 (#5-1)
Here are what I believe are the top 5 things Conchita has done from 2014 to 2017 or, actually, here it is the top 6 because I have two different events in the number 3 spot I found impossible to separate.
And any one of these spectacular events would be something other people did once in their life time, and they would then remember as the highlight of it for the rest of their days.
That Conchita was able to do all of these, plus the other 95 on the list, is astounding.
5 — Conchita’s debut album
Conchita Wurst released her self-titled debut album in May, 2015 and what I thought was brilliant about how she chose to do it was, instead of limiting herself to one specific genre of music — stifling her creativity, if you will — she instead chose to release an album with a wide variety of genres.
Interestingly, though, it worked. And it worked well. So much so, her debut album went platinum in Austria a week after it was released.
Stylistically, the 12 tracks on the album were everything from classic pop to massive ballads, dance, swing, an almost show-tune and a couple that definitely had an Asian influence. Altogether they were perfect.
Now, two years since Conchita’s debut album release, and while she is now working on album number two, I can honestly say this album is still one of my favorites and, in the literally hundreds of times I have heard every song, I am not bored with any of them yet. And, frankly, I don’t remember that happening to me before.
You can listen to every song from the album in the videos above.
4 — Conchita performs at the Sydney Opera House/ORF documentary ‘From Sydney With Love‘
In March, 2016, Conchita performed a full concert at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia — one of the world’s most iconic venues, and one I don’t think even Conchita herself expected to be singing in.
But, suddenly, there she was with her show Conchita: From Vienna With Love‘, starring Conchita performing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and with guest stars Courtney Act, Paul Capsis, and Trevor Ashley.
The concert Conchita gave was the precursor to how she structured her first tour later on that year, and she was spectacular in it. Particularly considering she was the one carrying that entire show, and in a venue and with an orchestra that must have been beyond intimidating.
Conchita’s show at the Sydney Opera House also included a documentary put together by the Austrian broadcaster ORF. Called “From Sydney With Love“, it was a lovely addition to this her Australian triumph.
And a sweet little note to all this. When she was first told she was going to be performing at the Sydney Opera House, it obviously didn’t really sink in what that really meant.
Because, when she showed up several months before just to look at the venue, she was walked into the main Sydney Opera House concert hall by the people organizing the concert.
And she, in all her lovely naivete, was stunned — because she seemed to have thought it was one of the lesser Opera House hall she would be performing in, and not on that iconic stage. (See photo below of just how stunned she seemed to be).
3 — Speaking to the EU Parliament and meeting with Ban Ki-Moon at the United Nations
I’m cheating with number 3 on my list of the best things Conchita has done by putting together two of them. Two events that I think are just about the most important things she has done when it comes to human rights, and to making an important political statement.
The first was at the end of October, 2014 when Conchita was at the EU Parliament where she gave a speech about the need for equal rights, tolerance and respect. She also performed live in front of more than 2,000 EU Parliament delegates, employees, and passers-by.
On November 4th, 2014, Conchita was also invited to the United Nations in Vienna where she had the honor of a sit-down meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and then spoke about human rights in front of a U.N. crowd.
Mr. Ban invited her as he felt her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest was an excellent “moment of human rights education”. He also believed her winning was an important moment for LGBTI rights.
Not only were these two events an important moment for her as, with invitations to both illustrious places, Conchita was finally being taken as seriously as she has always taken herself, they were also important for her message of tolerance and respect.
After all, with these meetings, what she stands for was pretty much ‘endorsed’ by both the U.N. and the European Parliament.
And I always think all of this must have been quite overwhelming for her in some respects, considering at the beginning of that year she was being verbally abused by tens of thousands of Austrians who did not want her representing them at Eurovision.
And then, there she stood at two of the most important places in the world — the EU Parliament and the United Nations — being treated with a huge amount of respect.
2 — Conchita presents Life Ball 2017
In early June, 2017, Conchita was a co-presenter of Life Ball 2017, the largest AIDS charity event in Europe and being held back in Vienna after taking last year off.
And what was fabulous about this year’s Life Ball was not just the usual glitz, glamour, celebrities and extravagance Life Ball is always known for, it was Conchita co-presenting the event with actress Verena Scheitz.
Because it was only the second time Conchita had ever been a presenter of an entire show, and that was wonderful enough.
But what made this event such a highlight for many Conchita fans, and for Conchita herself, was it really was the first time she also was the star of the show not only singing but dancing as well.
And, as any fan knows, she has never been able to dance. She in her stiff-but-adorably-cute movements, always a little afraid of loosening up and just letting go.
But at Life Ball she did and, dressed in a number of 1920s/1930s-style costumes and with an appearance markedly different than how she normally looks, she stole the show.
1 — Conchita presents Wiener Festwochen, 2017
And here we are finally at number one, with an event that snuck in just a few weeks ago to become my favorite thing Conchita has done out of an enormous number of incredibly cool and wonderful things.
And I am placing at number 1 Conchita presenting the opening concert of Wiener Festwochen in early May, 2017, because this was the first time she was not only performing in a show, she was singing duets in various musical genres with a wide variety of people and she was presenting the entire event in front of an enormous audience at Vienna’s Rathaus and on live TV.
The first time she had ever done so.
I was privileged to not only see Conchita at Wiener Festwochen live from just a few rows back, but also to see her from just about as close as it was possible to be during the full rehearsal for the show the day before.
And, while she had mentioned on her Instagram a couple of days before she was nervous about her responsibilities for this event, I didn’t realize how nervous until I saw her walk on for the first time at the rehearsal, and I could see it in her eyes.
But, within a couple of minutes of getting started, her entire body language and her demeanor changed and, from then on, she was completely in control.
An in control that carried over to the following evening when she presented the show on live TV and was spectacular.
Throw in some pretty phenomenal duets with such people as Russkaja, Willi Resetarits and Lylit, and Conchita presenting Wiener Festwochen was a thing of beauty from absolute beginning to absolute end.
So there we have it — the 100 best things Conchita has done since winning Eurovision in 2014.
But don’t get too comfortable because we are only three years in and, if I am not mistaken, we have many more years to enjoy what this incredible Austrian artist is still going to do.
And no, I can’t even begin to predict what we are likely to see. Only to say expect it to be interesting, surprising and always always always spectacular. Because that, it’s just who she is.
Meanwhile, you will find the rest of the top 100 here: