When it comes to ‘cool things’ Conchita Wurst has done, it’s difficult to narrow them down as, frankly, she does so many. Today, though, I’m looking at 5 cool things Conchita Wurst has done in the last few months you might just have missed. Things that weren’t as publicized as other things, or that were part of something larger. But cool things I think were so ‘cool’, it would be a shame if they were overlooked.
Conchita Wurst and ‘Oma’ do Lisbon
When this interview video appeared on YouTube last week, I couldn’t wait to click on it. Because it’s Conchita and her grandma (‘Oma‘ in German) on a trip to Lisbon, Portugal together.
And it’s a cool thing because Conchita’s Oma, Maria Margareta Neuwirth, lived in Lisbon when she was a child and had filled Conchita’s head (well, Tom Neuwirth’s) with stories about her childhood there. So, isn’t it lovely that Conchita could take her Oma back there so many years later, and see all the places she had told her about? (And isn’t it nice that Oma still speaks Portuguese?)
What makes this video even nicer to me, though, is how sweet Conchita is when she talks about her grandmother and, then, the look on her face as she watches Oma as she talks. Because you can tell she just loves her Oma so much, and is so thankful she has always had her in her life. Lovely that.
Conchita sings ‘Purple Rain’
When this video came across my desk, the day after Conchita sang ‘Purple Rain‘ during the Linz concert from her recent Conchita Live mit Band concert tour, I knew it was going to be one of my favorite Conchita performances. As, sure, she has sung ‘Purple Rain‘ before, but nowhere near at the level she sang it in Linz.
Because, this one, it’s Conchita making ‘Purple Rain‘ her own, in the loveliest, ‘coolest’ kind of way, while giving a nice tribute to Prince, who had died the day before.
And, from when she hits that massive high note (2:30) and then everything that follows from there — her voice, the gorgeous way she stomps around the stage like a rock dude, so gloriously relaxed and so into the music — she is rock chick supreme. And I love that.
Conchita duets with Revolverheld
This is by far one of my favorite things she has done this year — Conchita’s surprise duet with Revolverheld’s Johannes Strate — because it’s not only that she’s singing with one of Germany’s most fabulous rock bands, and that fans go wild when she walks on stage, it’s also that Strate reacts to her just like she’s a real girl and, me, I freaking love it when straight men do that with her.
Conchita sells out the Sydney Opera House and sings with Courtney Act
It was one thing Conchita Wurst got to give an entire concert at the Sydney Opera House, one of the world’s most iconic music venues, it was another entirely that the concert was completely sold out.
Then throw in that she gave one of the best performances she has ever given, and had the Sydney Symphony Orchestra eating out of her hand, and Conchita at the Sydney Opera House was one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Ever.
But my favorite part, and the coolest of the night I think? The duet she sang with the amazing Courtney Act (my favorite drag artist after Conchita).
Because, even if there’s quite a big mistake in this performance, what makes this so cool on so many levels is the sheer joy coming from both of them at just the opportunity to be in that iconic arena, the fun they’re having in a hall full of people that idolize them, while being backed by one of the world’s best orchestras, and both of their singing styles complimenting each other so fabulously the whole way through.
And a duo that obviously love each other, and that were quintessential professionals from beginning to end. Loved this. Loved this. Loved this.
Tom meets Conchita
Sure, I’ve written about this recently, the fact that Tom Neuwirth has been up on that stage almost as much as Conchita lately, as she continues to become far more ‘genderless’ than she ever has before. (Hint: The beard now growing halfway down her neck, the side-parted hair, the eternal pants outfits and the constantly bared all-male chest). But I still think a lot of people don’t quite get why this is not only so ‘cool’, but also so incredibly important.
Then a video popped up this week that made me think about something I’ve always known. How scared Tom Neuwirth must have really been when he showed up at Eurovision 2014. Fresh from all the abuse Conchita received in Austria when she was named as the Austrian representative to the world’s biggest singing competition, and wondering if Conchita would be taken seriously or be laughed off the stage.
Because listen to what she says in this short clip from the BBC special (see below) and you can hear it in her voice.
‘I thought I will do this for myself. I don’t care about anyone here. I will sing and I will entertain myself, and if they think it’s ridiculous, so what? I’ll have a great time”.
And, sorry, but I don’t believe a word of it. Because not only did she care, but that three minutes on stage were the most important three minutes of her life. And, if she had been booed, or ridiculed, or made to feel lesser than, I’m not so sure she would have ever gotten over it.
But see what happened after she won, and after all the adulation, praise and sheer love she’s received over the last two years? It’s not only given her the confidence to grow and change and mature, and be exactly who she wants to be regardless of what anyone else thinks, but it’s also given Tom Neuwirth more confidence than he has ever had.
Confidence that has allowed him to come out of the shadows he has been hiding in for the last few years, and get right up on that stage with Conchita. Be part of her, her performance, her act and, thus, receive some of the love formerly reserved just for her.
And that’s more than ‘cool’, it’s fucking fabulous.
Because…being so much more confident so that he feels like he can now be more recognizable on stage, it’s more important than just about anything else that we have seen her do. Because, that boy, and how amazing he is, he deserves everything. He always did. And now. He actually gets to have it.