The song that brought bearded drag performer Conchita Wurst fame and fortune was called “Rise Like a Phoenix,” about a legendary animal surviving the flames. Now the man behind the song and the makeup, real name Tom Neuwirth, wants Conchita Wurst to return to ashes.
Recently, Neuwirth sat down with German newspaper Die Welt for a lengthy interview.
He explains the stage he’s in right now regarding Wurst, his alter-ego: “I feel like I want to create a new person. … With the bearded lady, I have achieved everything I wanted since the Song Contest victory.”
The interview began with questions about identities and gender. Neuwirth addresses misconceptions that Conchita Wurst is actually a transgender woman, adding, “I am and always will be Tom. I don’t want to be a woman. I love men, but as a man. … When I am dressed as Conchita, men don’t interest me. As a drag act, I feel completely asexual.
Then Neuwirth confides that things are getting a bit messier these days.
“I dress also [as a] male,” he says. “That I am sitting here in flat shoes today would have been unthinkable a year ago! I’m searching, yes. I question myself more than ever these days. … And Tom rebelled. He is so loud.”
Photo via Instagram
Noticing that Neuwirth appears more and more regularly with short hair on Instagram, the journalist asks what that means and what Neuwirth wants.
“He wants to get out, show himself. He lives like a child in a cellar,” he says.
For that to happen, Neuwirth knows that Conchita Wurst must go.
“I have to kill her,” says Neuwirth, though not saying how or when.