RSS Feeds

Austrian drag queen wows 10,000 fans

Sunday - 5/18/2014, 1:56pm  ET

Supporters of Austrian singer and Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst wait for her performance in front of the federal chancellery in Vienna, Austria on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst had made a triumphant return to Austria last week after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen in what the country's president called a victory for tolerance in Europe. (AP Photo/Hans Punz)

VIENNA (AP) -- So -- who was the real Conchita Wurst?

The one on stage, of course. But with some of the fans gathered Sunday to fete the hirsute Austrian drag queen wearing fake beards, it was a justified question.

State broadcaster ORF estimated that 10,000 people celebrated Wurst's win of the Eurovision Song Contest and to listen to her rendition of "Rise Like a Phoenix" -- the number that gave her the prize.

The square in front of Chancellor Werner Faymann's office proved too small, forcing much of the crowd into a nearby park.

Wurst said her Song Contest victory is "not for me, but for people who believe in a future with progress,"

In a meeting with Wurst, Faymann praised her as a symbol for "tolerance, love and joy of life."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.