Note: This is part two of a 2-part series about Conchita Wurst at Sanremo. You’ll find the first part here.
Conchita Wurst getting verbally attacked by bigots isn’t news. Why? Because it happens on an hourly basis, as there really are that many ignorant, small-minded, obsessively conservative, ultra-religious people in the world. People who mistakenly seem to think being supposedly ‘religious’ gives them the right to hurl hatred at someone they don’t even know. At someone who has one of the most gentle and kindest hearts, and who would never treat them the way they treat her. (For me, the resident atheist, all I can ask about that is, isn’t religion supposed to be about love?)
What did become news across Italy this week, however, was an anti-Conchita Wurst campaign a small but vocal group of Italian bigots started. An attempt to stop Conchita from singing at the Sanremo festival last night. Needless to say, it didn’t work, and sing she did.
How Conchita Wurst so brilliantly handles bigots
What was fascinating about the campaign, however, was not the sheer hatred these awful people spewed, nor was it their attempt to stop her singing. Instead, it was the brilliant way Conchita Wurst handled it. The same way she always handles these things. And what then transpired because of it.
Because Conchita Wurst, when she’s attacked by bigots, what does she do?
There’s never a statement released, a rallying of fans to ‘support her’, or a complaint to whichever organization she could complain to this week. Instead, she just………….. ignores it.
Which if you know anything about the way bigots think, and what they want out of their hateful attacks, there is no more perfect way to handle them.
Because they want a response. They want anger and pain and hurt and sadness and outrage hurled right back at them, in an effort to shut them up. When what they get is a void, bigots deflate quickly.
Conchita Wurst and the Sanremo bigots
In the case of Sanremo, however, and Conchita Wurst’s non-response, things got even better during and after her performance. So much better, in fact, it was ‘game, set and match’ to Conchita Wurst as soon as she picked up her skirts, held firmly onto her flowers, and strode majestically off that Sanremo stage.
Why ‘game, set and match’, you ask?
Because not only did Conchita Wurst give a spectacular performance, she also looked stunningly beautiful wearing a dress with a bodice that made it obvious here was a man in drag, yet that screamed ‘feminine’ and made her look all diva and girly as well. So feminine was she, she threw Sanremo’s host, Carlo Conti, for an absolute loop, which was evidenced when he spluttered “Tom” as he started to ask his first question.
Conchita, however, ignored the ill-placed “Tom” and answered his somewhat silly questions with poise, humility and grace. That, of course, caused poor Carlo Conti to look even worse and, after Conchita had exited the stage, resulted in Italians all over Twitter asking why Conti was so rude.
The aftermath of Conchitagate
What makes all of this even more interesting, and proves how, when it’s Conchita Wurst vs the bigots, Conchita is the one who will always win, is this.
During her performance, Sanremo had the biggest spike of viewers for that part of the show than at any other time. A massive spike, and one which was even more spectacular considering Conchita began to sing just before midnight.
After Conchita Wurst had walked off that Sanremo stage, Twitter exploded. Italians all over Italy apologizing and begging her for forgiveness for the rudeness of Carlo Conti, and the way she was treated by the bigots. All of them thought she deserved much better than this, and that the abuse of bigots, plus the unwillingness to defend her by some of those involved in organizing Sanremo, made Italy look bad. Several even mentioned Carlo Conti would, from now on, be referred to as ‘Carla’.
As for some of the bigots, an Italian friend monitored Twitter both during and after Conchita’s Sanremo performance. And one thing that struck her were the accounts of a few anti-Conchita Wurst types who, right as she walked on stage, tweeted things like “Here comes the bearded transgender”, and “Now comes the freak”. By only a few seconds into Conchita’s performance, however, the same people were tweeting “Oh my God, she can sing” and, by the end of it, were singing her praises and admitting they had been mistaken.
And this is how Conchita Wurst wins. Just as she did at Eurovision, when Austrian bigots went for the jugular with an anti-Wurst campaign, just as she did at Sanremo, and just as she will with every other verbal attack launched her way.
She wins with elegance, style, poise and grace. She wins with a personality that is kind, considerate and funny, and oh so sweet. She wins with the way she always treats other people, no matter who they are or what silly things they say, with nothing but respect. And she wins with a rock solid belief in herself, her talent, and her ability to win you over when she sings.
Conchita Wurst is conquering the world one bigot at a time. For me, someone who admires her more than I have ever admired anyone, it is a thing of beauty to see.
Meanwhile, watch her in the Sanremo interview video below and see how she decimates poor Carlo Conti (unintentional on her part, I assure you, as she is nothing but grace). That, ladies and gentlemen, is the ‘Conchita Effect’.
I am 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!