A war of words has broken out between Austria’s bearded lady entry for the Eurovision Song Contest and an Armenian singer after he described her as “abnormal” and “unsuitable to take part in the event”.
UK comedian Russell Brand had earlier described Conchita Wurst as his double while on a recent visit to the Austrian capital Vienna, tweeting a picture of her in local media and saying: “Look, I am already on the front page.”
But Conchita failed to impress Aram Sargsyan, 29, better known by his stage name Aram Mp3, who is set to open the semifinals at the the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he will represent Armenia. In an interview he made it clear that he was not impressed with having to share the stage with Austrian drag queen Thomas Neuwirth, who is performing under the stage name Conchita Wurst.
He called her lifestyle ‘not normal’ and ‘not adequate’ and that competing in a contest with her ‘will be difficult’. And he advised her to take some time to decide whether she was really a man or woman. He then broadened his criticism to include the gay community generally, who he tries to avoid. He said: “When I pass through Kom aygi [a gay district in the Armenian capital Yerevan] I speed up my car.”
He added however that he would be unable to avoid the song contest and therefore added: “In this case, I will try to somehow put up with it. I do not live such a life, and regardless how the world has progressed or regressed, this is an unacceptable subject matter for me.”
Neuwirth, 25, graduated from the Graz School of Fashion in 2011 and worked as a shop window decorator before reinventing himself as Conchita Wurst after taking part in the Starmania talent show.
When told about the comments she said: “I guess that means he doesn’t want to marry me.”
She then added with a wink: “It seems as if Aram wants me to be a woman, but I can say this to you Aram my dear, I am a working woman and an incredibly lazy young man in my free time and that is not going to change. If you have problems understanding that, then I would be happy to sit down with you and explain it to you in more detail. And with your homophobic comments, that is a conversation that we really need to speak about.”