There are so many things I am fascinated by with Austrian singer Conchita Wurst, it would take me a lot longer than this short article to explain. One thing I am astounded by, however, and have been talking a lot about over the last few months, is how good Conchita has become giving interviews since she won Eurovision, particularly as she still manages to maintain her down-to-earth personality, her charm and her fabulous sense of humour while she does so.
Case in point, a lovely interview Conchita Wurst gave to BBC Radio’s Lucy Ash a couple of weeks ago. An interview that was aired on the BBC World Service this week as part of their 100 Women series (and, yes, Conchita was also chosen as one of the BBC’s 100 Women – how cool is that?).
It’s an interview in which, for the first time I can remember, Conchita seems slightly more open than she has in the past, particularly when it comes to talking about how difficult it was for her ‘other half’, Tom Neuwirth, during his school days.
And quite touching really, when you realize how tough it must have been for him, and how feeling people were talking about him behind his back must have hurt. (And, as a writer who spends time analyzing Conchita now, that makes me worry a little, as I never want her to think I’m doing the same. Then again, Conchita, what I think about you is pretty much out here in the open for you and everyone else to see – which, I have to admit, sometimes has me wanting to hide under my desk).
As the BBC Radio interview with Conchita Wurst continues, she talks about how singing as Tom Neuwirth didn’t work out as well as it does now for her with Conchita. That’s because it’s important for her to protect her private time as Tom, which is why being Conchita on stage works so well, as she’s much more unrecognizable when off.
One comment she makes soon after this, however, I found fascinating, as it cemented for me something I’ve thought for a long time. It’s the one where she’s asked about her as an artist ‘completely embracing Conchita’, and if she was surprised by Conchita’s popularity since she did. Her answer?
“I totally knew if I gained fans, they will love me deeply, because I think you don’t say “A bearded lady, well, I don’t care”. You have an opinion.”
And that right there? That people love her? For all her talk of “You don’t have to love me”, I’d venture a guess it matters to her a whole lot more that people do than she is ever going to admit.
Then again, Conchita, I’d say there’s little for you to worry about here, because you’re right. Your fans love you more deeply than an average fan does, and love you so much they will come out fighting for you, if needs be, every time they feel you’re under threat. Hell. Even me. And I’m not the ‘fan type’ at all.
As for my analysis of this interview? It’s one of Conchita’s best, as it gives yet another insight into how intelligent she is, and how she likely spends a lot of time analyzing the people she meets and the situations she finds herself in, and uses what she learns in her career and her life. And that, I really admire.
As for her English skills? Something, as a writer, I’m interested in when it comes to someone speaking English as a second language. They’re just ridiculously fabulous and, in some cases, leave me sitting open-mouthed, she’s really that good.
You can listen to the entire BBC Radio interview with Conchita Wurst in the ‘bootleg copy’ from YouTube below. Here is also the official BBC World Services Conchita Wurst interview, if you prefer to listen at ‘the source’ (I do, but sadly the BBC doesn’t allow video embedding).
Either way, enjoy. It’s really really lovely.