Thursday, 1 May 2014

The A to Z of Pop - C is for Conchita (and a little for Cher)


The human C. Clearly actually impossible.


The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore


A to Z brings us to C and while there are a million pop stars I could write about for the letter C, I’m going to do something different, but go with me, you won't regret it. No, I am not going to write about the underrated, unending talent of Cher (although it was tempting).




It’s almost that time of year again, my favourite night of nights, a night that celebrates everything cheesy, glittery, sequined and awesome about Europe and it’s musical heritage. There is nothing about the spectacle not to love. I witnessed it myself last year, when one of my very best friends and I travelled all the way to Sweden to see it for ourselves. It was amazing. It was spectacular. It was everything I dreamt and much much more. It was this...




It's had it's fair share of controversy, old Eurovision, most of them political, but this year's controversy is as old as Eurovision itself and I take this one a little personally. Let me explain.


C this week stands for Conchita Wurst, the Austrian contestant for Eurovision 2014. Conchita is an ordinary contestant and her concept is not new to the worlds greatest* song contest (*matter of opinion).  Conchita Wurst is the drag name of Thomas Neuwirth, which is pretty irrelevant, I'm more interested in the pop and the pyrotechnics, but as a lover of Eurovision, I've been watching  developments closely and again this year, some certain countries/people/politicians/citizens of Europe with way too much time on their hands are calling for the whole contest to be banned/not telecast/Conchita to be jailed...the list of ridiculousness goes on and on. All because simply, Conchita is a guy with a beard, wearing a dress (and various other gorgeous drool worthy clothes I might say).




You know what I say to all those ignorant politicians/citizens/people?


Have you ever seen Eurovision? Have you ever been to Eurovision? Do you know what Eurovision is? Gender ambiguity has been part of the performances (and life in general) since well before Eurovision began. This isn’t new, but it’s fun.




Now, I take Conchita's controversy personally, because in Sweden last year at my own Eurovision experience, I was shown exactly what this night is all about. I sat next to a Russian girl who could barely speak a word of English and we waved an Austrian flag, while cheering on each others faves. We danced and clapped and took photos of each other and giggled like we'd known each other for years. I may never meet her again, but she was part of one of the greatest nights of my life so far and THAT my friends, is what Eurovision is about. Fun. People who don’t understand that are people I refer to as a word that starts with this week's letter.


They're all crackers. 


You can take your prejudices, take your transphobia, take your homophobia, take your xenophobia, take all your phobias, take your politics, take your misled beliefs, take your distaste for a good time and take it far, far away from Eurovision. In fact, just take it away, full stop.




Conchita, you know what Eurovision is about and this month I'm gonna find that Austrian flag I bought all the way home and I'm gonna wave it at my TV, for you, for Europe, for Copenhagen and for my little Russian friend, who hopefully is on the other side of the world doing exactly the same thing.


The A to Z of pop? C is for Conchita!

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