Farewell Conchita, It Has Been Absolutely Lovely But It Is Time For Me To Move On

At the last count, I had written over 600 articles about Austrian singer Conchita. Someone who I loved from the first moment I saw her win the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014. Most of them are here on Leo Sigh. A few on other sites.

During all those hundreds of thousands of words, I have analyzed Conchita, her behavior and her feelings more than I probably ever should have. Particularly as she does not really like being talked about behind her back.

And, honestly, if it was me, and I woke up several times a month to yet another article analyzing me, what I do, what I say, how I feel and how I behave, I probably would be quite happy to search out the writer and throttle them.

Conchita, however, has been kind, incredibly gracious and quite lovely about my insistence.

But I realized after Saturday’s astounding concert with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, I have little interest in writing about Conchita anymore. Or of studying or analyzing her. Because I have done just about all I ever want to do.

I also most definitely have no interest in writing those overly dramatic articles I seem to have become quite famous for.

You know, the ones that relate the bullying she experienced when she was younger to what is going on in the present day, and that give off a feeling of “we should protect her no matter what”.

Because in the last four years my girl grew up, grew massive balls of steel and can quite happily take care of herself. She doesn’t need me or anyone else protecting her or feeling sorry for what she went through.

She is far stronger than that and, in the last year, she has definitely proven it.

Besides, Tom Neuwirth, her creator, is moving on from his Eurovision Song Contest winning creation and I think it is time for me to do the same.

So, farewell, Conchita, it has been an absolute pleasure.

I value the emotion you allowed me to experience behind every article I wrote about you. And I value that you never attempted to stop me writing the things I wanted to write about. Just sat back and let it happen.

You also made me a much better writer than I was when I started out on this journey.

As for my readers, and to the many, many people who have stopped me at concerts or written to me to say how much they enjoyed my articles, I thank you so much for your attention and your time. And I am happy if something I wrote about Conchita touched you in any way.

As a writer, I could not ask for anything more.

The future

So, am I walking away from that Austrian singer? The one that not only grabbed my heart, but grabbed my senses? So much so she even caused me to uproot my life and move 8,500 kilometers across the world to a city I would never have thought about living in before she came into my life?

Hell, no! Because, frankly, things are starting to get interesting.

Tom Neuwirth is either in the process of slowly killing Conchita, or at the very least putting her to bed for a very very long sleep.

As an artist he has also developed to such an extent it is difficult to recognize the lovely but very uptight and sometimes quite bland ‘woman’ he used to be.

Instead, we are now treated to an artist that is changing everything about himself and his career so fast if you don’t pay attention for a few minutes you will miss it.

But, out of all the physical changes he has recently gone through, which are interesting in and of themselves, it is still the emotional changes I like the most.

Because in the last year especially, he has shown himself to be sure of who he is, sure of what he will put up with and what he will not, and absolutely certain the career he has had for the last four years is not something he is interested in doing for the next four or beyond.

Besides when I look at him nowadays, I no longer see that person I used to see. The one who was shy, not very self-confident although desperately trying to appear to be, and still so very worried that people would see through the facade to who he really was.

Nor do I see the person that was so strongly affected by the bullies and the bigots that it colored everything he did.

Or at least, I see a person that is still affected by them, but is now using those experiences in a positive way. Like rocket fuel. A fuel to project him to exactly where he wants to go.

In fact, when I saw him on Friday night at the signing event for his new album ‘From Vienna With Love‘, I knew there had been an enormous character shift from the last time I had seen him. Back in October, 2017, when he had a look in his eyes that told me instantly he was incredibly unhappy, and wasn’t doing much more than going through the motions. I remember leaving the event feeling worried and sad for him.

On Friday, though, that person was no longer there.

And in his place was a phenomenally happy person.

Someone that just grinned from ear to ear at everyone that walked up to him. Someone whose body language was so different than I have ever seen it before. Casual, centered, relaxed and so very sure of himself. And with a strength and power emanating from him that was fabulous to see.

Because, in the last year, and with the struggles he has had to work through, Tom Neuwirth has found himself.

And, in so doing, he has also found a confidence he never had before. A confidence that has made him strong, sure and, the most important thing for me…happy.

And me? I like the balls, the strength, the bloody attitude he now has. I mean I loved her, but I like this new person even more!

Future articles

Thus, future articles about Conchita/Tom Neuwirth/whoever he decides to be are likely to take a different turn.

No longer will I be concentrating on how he feels or what is affecting him, because I’ve seen all I need to see.

Instead, I want to move away from the endless analyzing and instead concentrate on this phenomenal artist, his work, his music and what he achieves next.

Because even though his concert with the Wiener Symphoniker was the best thing I have ever seen, and most definitely his greatest performance, I am absolutely sure it was still nowhere near what he will achieve in future years. Because we are about to see something astounding.

That is what I am most excited about.

And I have to say, as I walk away from Conchita, her emotions, her experiences, the vulnerability and sadness I always saw and always wanted to ‘fix’ for her (because I always want to do that with someone I love), I am almost sure I can hear Tom Neuwirth muttering to himself “Thank f*ck!”

Stay tuned….and, meanwhile, if you haven’t heard Tom’s ‘Have I Ever Been In Love‘, listen to it below because Holy F*ck, that’s talent!

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.