2014 - The year of Conchita
It's no exaggeration if we claim that 2014 has been the year of Conchita Wurst. Rarely before has a Eurovision Song Contest winner received so much attention by the media, been honoured with so many awards and acclamations - and also generated such controversial feedback. Take a tour with us and re-live this year again with us from Conchita's perspective!
Rise Like A Phoenix is not just a song, it's the story of an extraordinary woman told to the world on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest. And this story touched the hearts of the people all over Europe this year, who voted for Conchita Wurst, who believed in her message of tolerance and freedom of expression, and who voiced their support on social media.
Take a look back with us and see the most touching moments of Conchita's year 2014 in the following video:
In the following slide show, you can re-live Conchita's year, see how she was selected for the Eurovision Song Contest, how she prepared her stage act in Copenhagen. And of course, you will see her moment of victory, the congratulations she received, and how she became a true star not only in Europe but all over the world!
Life Before Eurovision
How did it all start? In fact, Conchita Wurst, as a character, existed already years before she took part in the Eurovision Song Contest but it was definitely in 2014 when she became a world star. Take a look back with us!
Conchita Wurst - Start of a Career
Let's turn back time and find out how the character of Conchita Wurst was created, and how she took her first steps in the direction of the Eurovision Song Contest:
ORF's choice for Eurovision 2014
After narrowly missing victory in the Austrian national selection for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, public broadcaster ORF decided to internally choose Conchita Wurst as their representative in 2014. This decision was made public in September 2013:
First glimpse: Conchita's Postcard
In the Eurovision Song Contest, each contestant is introduced by a short "postcard" film. Conchita's postcard was among the first to be recorded, and in March we could already catch a glimps of what we would see in the live show in May:
And finally: The song!
It certainly was an exciting moment when Rise Like A Phoenix was premiered! The official video clip immediately gathered hundreds of comments and likes on Youtube, and visitors from all over the world connected to Conchita's complete artist profile on Eurovision.tv.
The Official Release
Shortly afterwards, the song was officially released on CD and as a download, and the numbers made it clear that we were looking at a potential favourite to win the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.
Eurovision in Concert
In April, Eurovision in Concert was held in Amsterdam, and it was the first time for Conchita to meet a huge crowd of Eurovision fans. It goes without saying that the audience went crazy when she entered the stage.
Conchita in Copenhagen
Of course all that had been just a warm-up compared to what was coming next: Conchita's time in Copenhagen!
For the first time, she entered the Eurovision Song Contest stage, she gave press conferences, and step by step she became one of the big favourites to win - and in the end, the trophy was hers indeed! Check out Conchita's week in Copenhagen with us!
Already one week before the Semi-Final, Conchita Wurst arrived in Copenhagen for her first rehearsals on stage in the BW Hallerne, and of course everyone was curious to see her performance live:
Second Rehearsal, First Press Conference
Just two days later, Conchita was back on stage for her second rehearsal. Afterwards it was time for her first press conference in the adjoining press center.
Goind on Stage for the Grand Final
Of course Conchita easily qualified, winning the Second-Semi Final. But pressure was rising when she entered the stage for the Grand Final.
Rise Like A Phoenix - the Final Performance
In the end, it was a smashing performance - perfect voice and charisma, touching the hearts of the people in the audience and in front of the TV sets.
A First Sign on Twitter
So, would Conchita indeed win in the end? A first indication was the number of tweets sent - nobody could beat her by this measure.
And so it happened: Conchita won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest with Rise Like A Phoenix!
Minutes after her victory was announced, Conchita entered the Eurovision Song Contest stage again to receive the trophy and perform her winning song again.
On stage, Conchita was overwhelmed by her emotions when she realized that she had won.
The Green Room
On the way back to the Green Room, Conchita spoke to our video team once again.
The Winner's Press Conference
Back in the press center at the BW Hallerne, a huge crowd of media and fans was already awaiting Conchita for the winners' press conference:
The Ultimate Photo Gallery
Within two weeks, our photographers have caught many moments with Conchita on stage, during press conferences, at parties and receptions, and backstage. Have a look in our complete gallery:
Life after Eurovision
Winning the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, of course, wasn't the end of the story just yet. Conchita Wurst's message spread, and the number of her admirers grew fast. See how busy her time has been until the end of the year 2014!
When Conchita Wurst arrived back at Vienna Airport from Copenhagen, thousands of fans were awaiting her, and everyone was trying to gain a seat in the welcome press conference.
...and when we talk about Conchita's fans, this includes world stars as famous as Elton John, who sent her a personal message the day after her Eurovision victory.
In the weeks to come, Conchita was a well-loved guest in TV shows all over Europe, and listing all of them would fill pages. One of her most notable appearances was on the Graham Norton Show:
Festivals and Concerts
She performed her songs in several concerts and appeared as a main act in several festivals, including the London Pride:
In the Movies
Conchita's fame in fact extended from the pop music scene well into other domains - she was even asked to voice Eva in the animated cartoon Penguins of Madagascar:
And more than that: Conchita got her own cabaret show at the Crazy Horse in Paris, much supported and loved by Jean Paul Gaultier.
Ambassador for Tolerance
Even politicians applauded Conchita Wurst for her role in promoting tolerance and freedom, not just in the European Parliament...
All the way to the United Nations, Conchita was welcomed as an ambassador for basic human rights. She was received by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
It goes without saying that this amazing success story should be written down and told - and indeed it has already been released as a book.
It is safe to say that Rise Like A Phoenix was one of the most covered songs in 2014, by artists from all over the world.
So, it is not a surprise that, just one month ago, Conchita's record reached platinum status in Austria!
Conchita - World Top Story
And more than that: According to Google, Conchita Wurst was one of the World Top Stories in 2014 according to Google.
Conchita at Times Square, New York City
...and Google even prominently displays this fact at the NYC Times Square, for the whole world to see!
All that has just been a small selection of items out of a huge buzz that was going on all over the year. But most certainly Conchita's story is still being written. Check out what's still to come!
The Follow-up Single
Conchita's next single, called Heroes, has already been released in autumn:
The video clip of Heroes
You can watch the clip of her latest hit right here. And we are sure that there are more to come!
Vienna Hosting Eurovision
Conchita Wurst was one of the first celebrities to comment the fact that Vienna was officially chosen as the host city of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.
Becoming the Eurovision Green Room Host
And guess what: we will definitely see more of Conchita next year! She will be one of the hosts of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, reporting from the Green Room.
So, while we are waiting for more upcoming news, Conchita wishes all of you happy holidays!