Conchita Wurst on ‘En el aire’: Was She Singing Live or Lip Syncing? (Video)

conchita en el aire


Conchita Wurst was on the Spanish TV show ‘En el aire‘ last night. A show I wasn’t going to write about (sorry, Conchita, a bit busy) until I checked my Facebook messages to find people asking my opinion on if Conchita Wurst had sung live on ‘En el aire‘, or was she lip syncing? Because, apparently, on the live stream it looked like lip sync heaven.

And, yes, even though it did say ‘voz en directo‘ (live voice) right as she began singing, we all know what we are told is true on TV isn’t always.

So, loving any excuse to analyze Conchita Wurst, I set off to find the video. And I have to admit, in my first viewing of the Daily Motion live stream video (which has since been deleted, so the one here is not the one I watched), I could understand why a fair few people thought she was lip syncing. Her voice and the music of her new single ‘You Are Unstoppable‘ are out of sync with the video by a split second. Making her look as though she is lip syncing. And quite badly, I might add.

But, on more viewings, it was obvious Conchita Wurst was singing ‘You Are Unstoppable‘ live on ‘En el aire‘, as there are a few things that quickly clued me in. Then, when I came across another video on YouTube with her voice completely in sync with the music, it was easy to see the live stream problem.

But, as people will occasionally say Conchita Wurst does not sing live, I thought it would still be an interesting exercise to point out how, if you are ever in doubt, here is how you can tell.

Consistently out of sync — While it’s obvious in the video available on Daily Motion her voice and the film is out of sync, it was also apparently that way on the live stream. Which is what caused people to think Conchita Wurst was lip syncing, as the live stream of her interview was spot on with voice and video matching up, until it came to her song.

But, if you look closely, you’ll see her entire song is consistently out of sync, meaning there’s a good chance she’s not lip syncing, as someone who is tends to be inconsistent with that — sometimes spot on, and other times a split second ahead or behind.

Watch her neck — As she’s singing, she’s breathing in quite markedly at various points during the song and, if you look at the hollow of her neck, you can see it being pulled in as she breaths. Breaths exactly at the same points of the song where you hear her breathing. Someone who is lip syncing doesn’t do that.

Gestures — Conchita Wurst always lands her gestures perfectly in time, the upflung arm, the fluid wave to the side, but, on ‘En el aire‘ her gestures are so out of time with the music it’s obvious it’s a live stream problem, and not her lip syncing.

Pronunciation — Conchita Wurst’s English skills are superb, particularly when she is singing. But, as a non-native English speaker, she still does occasionally pronounce some words slightly incorrectly, but never consistently incorrectly for the same word every new time she sings a particular song.

In the ‘En el aire’ live performance of ‘You Are Unstoppable‘, there are two words she pronounces incorrectly, and with a placement of her tongue a native English speaker would not use, (sorry, Conchita) it’s easy to match up the audio track you’re hearing with where her tongue is a split second later, and you can see immediately, oh yes, she’s singing live.

The two words are in the phrases “and if you have a bad romance, give it another try“, where on the “give it” she’s pronouncing the ‘it’ as a slight ‘ith’, and in “scars are a part of you, we can learn to understand“, as she sings ‘understand’ her tongue is in the wrong place at the front of her mouth, instead of where it should be, touching the roof. That gives the ‘d’ in the word ‘understand’ a sound like a hard Spanish ‘th’.

Vibration — Finally, on that incredible high note where she sings “Yeah“, you’ll see her chin and lips slightly vibrate. The vibration is from her singing, and would be a dead giveaway if she wasn’t, as the vibration would not be there.

So, yes, Conchita Wurst was singing live on ‘En el aire‘, as she always does, which the YouTube video proves. In fact I’d be surprised if she didn’t. She’s not a faker and, unlike some singers who can’t sing as well live as they can with a manipulated studio voice, Conchita has the amazing vocal skills to be able to sound as good, or even better, singing live than she does pre-recorded, so why on earth wouldn’t she?

Finally, Conchita, a lovely interview (even with silly questions you join in the fun and always look like you’re having a good time, which is lovely as there’s nothing worse than a diva actually acting like one), and a phenomenal skirt (gorgeous color). Now, I’m just jealous I don’t have your legs.

Special Note: Conchita Wurst’s debut album ‘Conchita‘ will be released on May 15, 2015. You can currently pre-order it on iTunes.

About Michelle Topham

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