Conchita Wurst at Tuntenball, Without Beard: A Precursor of Things to Come

conchita wurst at tutenball


The Conchita Wurst fandom was in partial meltdown last night after La Wurst tweeted a photograph of herself…………. without beard. A photograph fans were still obsessing over several hours later, as they asked “Was the beard covered with make up?” (how could you think that? There’s no hair) or commented “She’s wearing a mask” (really?) and “It’s not her. She needs the beard for her career” (said by people who don’t know how fast beards grow?)

Personally, I was howling with laughter 30 seconds after all the frantic fan tweets started, right after Conchita’s photograph went up on Twitter. A photo of Conchita getting dressed up for Tuntenball in Graz, Austria on Saturday night (see above). In costume. In massive blonde wig and glasses. And, yes, sans beard. A costume, I might add, that had obviously been chosen as a disguise, so she could attend Tuntenball without all the hype that would have come with it if she’d gone as a recognizable Conchita Wurst.

But, I wasn’t laughing at the fans (although some of them were quite funny in their distress – it’s a beard, guys. It grows back). I was laughing for a different reason. Because I’d already spotted a photo of Ms. Wurst at Tuntenball quite a bit before her Twitter photograph appeared. Spotted her. Downloaded the photograph. And delightedly laughed at her brilliance. (See that Conchita at Tuntenball photo here).

(And, no, just in case you’re wondering, I would never have publicized that photo as being of Conchita Wurst, as she deserves her privacy. But, once she had tweeted hers, all I can say is “Game on”).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not some kind of magician who finds photographs of Conchita Wurst nobody else finds. Neither am I a stalker who spends my time combing the internet for photographs of my obsession (sorry, Conchita, I love you. But there is a limit).

No. I had just been incredibly lucky several hours before when, looking for photographs of someone else I knew had been at Tuntenball, I stumbled across a photograph of a ‘woman’ (well, you know what I mean). A woman in a massive wig, white glasses, a huge black dress, long gloves, and someone who I knew as soon as my eyes alighted on her face, was undoubtably Conchita Wurst.

Because it’s the mouth, the nose and the angular face shape that makes Conchita Wurst easy to spot (along with one other thing I’m keeping to myself). In photographs, at least, although I’m sure it’s difficult to see in person.

It’s also the fact that, if you know anything about Conchita Wurst, you know she loves to dress up, she’s incredibly smart, she has a wicked sense of humor and, if she can do something to fool most people she’s going to jump at the chance and then laugh delightedly at their confusion. (See the fabulous photo shoot she did a couple of years ago —reprinted in a British newspaper after Eurovision — showing off “her apartment”, if you don’t believe me).

As for the agitated fans of the lovely Ms. Wurst, my comment to those people is this. If you’re in love with a certain image of Conchita Wurst, an image you never want to change because then you think you’ll lose her, oh boy, are you in for a bumpy ride.

Because Conchita Wurst, she’s not only already changed since Eurovision, but she’s going to change so much more in the next few years, I’m guaranteeing you, by the end of it you won’t even recognize her.

In fact, it all boils down to this. Something I have a feeling some fans just don’t quite ‘get’ about Conchita Wurst. She’s fictional. She’s the best form of ‘art’ there is. And she’s a work in progress.

She’s also the creation of a 26-year-old man who I know, without a doubt, is at genius-level when it comes to what he does. But a creation that is constantly evolving, constantly changing, and constantly growing, as he continues to figure out who Conchita Wurst is and who he wants her to be.

She’s the drag version of Lady Gaga, but even more intelligent, and, if you stick with her, you’re going to have to learn to adapt or she’ll leave you in her wake. As messing with your head is just one of the many things she’s good at.

Meanwhile, for those whose hearts can’t take the strain, Conchita Wurst did relent a little bit later on last night, and tweeted another photograph. This one with her iconic beard magically returned, but still sporting her ‘#eleonorawhite’ gloves.

But, I’m warning you, don’t get used to it. Because, the moment you do……….. there she’ll go again.

conchita wurst tutenball

Meanwhile, for more on Conchita Wurst read:

Conchita Wurst’s new single ‘You are Unstoppable’ is an anthem

Conchita Wurst’s first Israeli TV interview

Conchita Wurst is a mega-hit on ‘Fashion Police’


About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.