Conchita Wurst: It’s Her Complexity That’s So Fascinating

conchita wurst graham norton


I’m always attracted to complex people as they’re more difficult to understand and more interesting to learn about. That’s because there’s nothing more fascinating to me than trying to figure out who a person is, and why they act the way they do. Then as a writer, to come to conclusions and put them into words – it’s like solving the world’s most beautiful puzzle.

But I have to admit I think I’ve met my match with Conchita Wurst, as she’s one of the most complex people I’ve come across, and the most difficult to understand. Because the difficulty with her is, I’m not just analyzing one person but two, or at least two spirits in the same body. And when I think I have a handle on one, the other gets in the way.

Add in all the complex characteristics she has, and how quickly they change, and Conchita Wurst is easily one of the most fascinating people on the planet.

Masculine and feminine

While Conchita is very careful to explain she’s a drag artist – a woman on stage and a ‘lazy boy at home’ – it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

After all, if you’ve watched her enough, it’s easy to see there’s a fabulous mix of masculine and feminine in her most of the time, with one sometimes stronger until the other decides it’s time to take the lead.

You can even see it in photographs with some making her look incredibly feminine, while others show her masculine side. And no, it’s nothing to do with the wig and the lashes as, in many photographs, she’ll be wearing make-up and clothing just as feminine as always but definitely in a more masculine mood.

That, to some extent this makes her the perfect person. just adds to her charm but, also, to her complexity.

Vulnerability and strength

Most people tend to fall into one of two ways of being. Either vulnerable or strong, with only a slight leaking over of the opposite characteristic. Not Conchita Wurst. She’s as vulnerable as she is strong.

Vulnerable because you can tell from the expressions that flit across her face before she hides them, and the emotions that sometimes roll off her in waves, that she hurts easily, and that her heart is one of the most gentle you’ll ever find.

Strong because you get the feeling while things may definitely drop her to the ground, she’ll always get back up again. And she’ll be stronger for it afterward.

Intelligent and naive

Conchita Wurst (and, by default, her alter ego Tom Neuwirth who had the intelligence to create Conchita), is one of the most intelligent artists you’ll find. When interviewed, she has the most amazing insights into herself and other people, and her answers to questions are always well thought out and with substance, yet not always what you might expect. Plus, she just makes darned intelligent decisions about her life and her career.

But, she also has moments where her naivety about some things is astounding to see and which, to me, just makes her even more appealing.

In fact, there’s a radio interview she did with Graham Norton shortly after Eurovision that I love (see below), as she goes from calm, cool and collected Eurovision winner to breathless fangirl in two minutes flat and one with such an incredible passion for life you just want to go along for the ride.

It’s the amazing mix of the mature and the child-like I think everyone would be better off if they had. That’s because it gives her the ability to be incredibly smart when it comes to where she’s going in life, yet child-like enough to enjoy every single moment of it. Even the silly stuff.

Emotional and distanced

Conchita Wurst is an extremely emotional person, and you just know things hit her harder and hurt her more than they do many others.

Yet, if she needs to, she can distance herself from a situation or a person so fast I’ve never seen anything like it.

It’s the amazing ability she has to turn her emotions on and off so she can deal with the job at hand, and then revisit them at a later more appropriate and less damaging time. It’s that ability to just ‘click herself into place’ that, with her past experiences, has probably held her in good stead.

Of course listing all these characteristics and their opposites and expecting Conchita Wurst to fit into one or the other of them at a particular moment in time doesn’t work either, as she changes so fast it’s hard to keep up.

Personally, I love it, and it’s a big reason why she always holds my attention. She’ll never be uninteresting or boring as there are just too many layers beneath the surface for you ever to get a handle on her. And that, that makes her more interesting to me than anyone.


About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I'm also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!