EUROVISION’S 2014 bearded drag winner Conchita Wurst recently shared the stage with the 1998 winner and trans* artist Dana International to celebrate 60 years of the song contest.
The pair performed one of Eurovision’s most well-known winning songs, Abba’s Waterloo, alongside previous winners and luminaries at the BBC’s Eurovision Greatest Hits concert late last month.
Both artists made Eurovision-firsts in their respective years: Israeli Dana International being the first trans* artist to win in 1998 in Birmingham and Austria’s Wurst, the first drag queen to take home the crown in 2014 in Copenhagen.
Wurst has became an avid campaigner for LGBTI rights around Europe and the world, performing at the European Parliament, the UN and numerous LGBTI pride events around the world.
The night was marred by audience boos and jeers directed towards Russian 2008 winner Dima Bilan as he performed his winning song Believe after being introduced by hosts Graham Norton and Petra Mede.
The BBC later admitted to PinkNews that they had edited out the crowd’s protest from what went to air.
“Graham however being ever the professional handled the situation and said to the crowd: ‘Be nice… tonight is not a competition and we are here to support all the acts, so be nice’,” a BBC spokesperson said.
“Once Graham had addressed the crowd the introduction was re-shot, Dima was cheered and welcomed to the stage, got a great reception and put in a top performance which was broadcast [on the] night.”
Bilan is one of few Russian celebrities who have been outspoken in their criticism of their country’s so-called anti-gay propaganda laws, signing a letter in 2012 condemning the author of the original St Petersburg bill that the federal laws are based on.
Similar protests were directed towards Russia’s contestants the Tolmachevy Sisters last year at both their appearances in the semi and grand finals.
Eurovision will start on May 20 Australian time, with the first semi-final from Vienna shown live locally on SBS.