February 20, 2020

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Tori Amos, an eight time Grammy Award nominee from the United States of America, with countless hits to her name including "Cornflake Girl", "Professional Widow" and "Caught a Life Sneeze" took to the stage in Linz, Austria and performed "Rise Like a Phoenix". It was a late addition to the set-list but definitely a welcome one with the audience going mad as soon as the first notes were played.

"Rise Like a Phoenix", the winning entry of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with vocals provided by Conchita Wurst was not the commercial winner of the music competition with first runner-up "Calm After the Storm" by The Common Linnets scoring higher in several charts across the globe, yet with endorsements coming from the likes of Cher and Tori Amos, it is no wonder why this song has re-defined the whole concept of the international music competition. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from the world of the Eurovision Song Contest.


Conchita Wurst, winner of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Austria with the track 'Rise Like a Phoenix' has made the headlines across the world, receiving support from renowned stars such as; Elton John, Cher and Julio Iglesias. The latest support comes from Lady Gaga, a true superstar who has apparently gone one step further to invite the winner of the international singing copetition to be her opening act on a couple of dates during her upcoming tour; artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.

Lady Gaga, an artist whose reputation precedes her in every sense of the word is already known for hosting an elaborate show, and it seems that Conchita will become part of her attraction for a couple of days across the continent. At this stage, the Austrian performer has apparently been asked to open for the American superstar on the 16th September in Istanbul, Turkey. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Conchita Wurst's post Eurovision success.

Source: eurovision.tv


The Austrian singer has been chosen internally and ever since the choice was done, one can say it was surrounded by controversy. In fact a lot of online groups and petitions cropped up trying their best to stop Conchita Wurst from competing in Denmark. This made the singer stronger and in the Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita is not only competing to win the song competition but she’s also in Copenhagen to pass on a strong message. 

In fact whilst meeting the press and also the other singers in the competition, Conchita keeps doing her best to pass her message of embracing tolerance and acceptance without any discrimination. Firelight had the opportunity to meet Conchita Wurst in the press centre and after chatting a bit, the Maltese band was seen sporting the ‘Knit for Tolerance’ joining her in her quest of promoting  her cause. 

Conchita Wurst will be singing Rise like a Phoenix in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest – the same semi-final in which Malta will be competing in. Both songs are being seen as qualifiers both by the fans and also by the press in Copenhagen – hopefully the two countries will have the opportunity to compete against each other also in the finals.  Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: PBS, TVM, Deo Grech (Maltese Delegation)


Friday, 25 April 2014 15:30

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Austria

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #6, we catch up with Austria (ORF) who will be represented by Conchita Wurst with the song Rise Like a Phoenix co-written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas.

Conchita Wurst was born as Tom Neuwirth on November 6th, 1988 in Gmunden/Austria. The young artist had always dreamed of a career in showbiz. It all really started in 2006 when he took part in the talent show Starmania. In 2007, he joined the boy band "jetzt anders!", which however only survived for less than one year. He first performed as his alter ego Conchita Wurst, the famous long-haired full-bearded lady, in the talent show "Die große Chance" in 2011. 

Since then, he certainly has not gone unnoticed in Austria. More recently, Conchita Wurst participated in the ORF production "The hardest jobs of Austria", where she worked in a fish factory, and in "Wild Girls", where a group of candidates had to survive in the deserts of Namibia/Africa together with native tribes. "For me the most special and honoring thing is that Austria shows tolerance and acceptance and I’m so happy to be this statement. I’m allowed to be the voice of their beliefs during this time and this really makes me very proud."

"We, and not at least myself, want to stand for a society without hate and discrimination. And if I’m honest, I think everyone of the contestants should stand for the same, cause we are joining a very opend minded project, so they should be open minded too." This is just a part of the exclusive interview organised by eurovision.tv which could be seen on the biography page.


Austria has only won the Eurovision Song Contest one occasion, that being back in 1966 when Udo Jurgens who had already represented the country twice took the podium with Merci Cherie. Since the introduction of the semi-final system, Austria has not been as successful though noting that following a couple of years off, they returned in 2012 to mixed success going into the final with Nadine Beiler and then finishing dead last with the Trackshittaz.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 70%

Greig Watts: This one has already got a lot of press for obvious reasons, I am going to try and judge the song without interference from that, and actually I like the way it feels a bit Culture club/Boy George (funny that) to start with, and then it goes all James Bond in the chorus and 2nd verse. Almost has a Shirley Bassey meets Adele vibe, and actually im really liking the song and almost wishing it didn’t have all the hype around it as it could be a potential winner and the vocalist actually performs it really well, would be nice to just judge the song, but from my own experience in the competition its not just about the song these days

Joseph Zammit: Well this is certainly an interesting one. Here we have the mandatory gay/drag act that has become a staple on the Eurovision stage. This time however, it comes with a twist! The male singer in full drag, also has a full beard! Originality points all round!! Not much to say about this one because the music has nothing to it. Watch any James bond movie and you would have heard this song. It can easily be the new Bond theme for the upcoming Bond movie, 'James Bond – Not a Close Shave!' Also, on a personal note, can there for once be a drag act song which is not about self revelation and fighting oppression? All in all, a relatively predictable and unoriginal song.

Sharon Vaughn: Her voice is divine, and the song is compellingly appropriate for the artist and her journey. However, it does feel a bit Vegas and over the top.

John Scott: The I found the song to be quite effective with interesting retro elements. It sounds like a great theme for a James Bond movie. The song is a great match to his voice.

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials

Conchita Wurst, the Austrian representative at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Rise Like a Phoenix co-written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas was officially performed LIVE for the very first time during the local version of Dancing with the Stars, a reality programme known to have a distinctively high viewership. ORF, the public broadcaster know that the internal selection of Conchita will ultimately raise cause for concern amongst the more conservative countries competing in the international event but kudos to them for taking a stance, and working the proper tricks of promotion.

Whilst not one of the favourites to triumph come May, Austria are set to qualify according to bookmakers who are putting them in eighth place, just behind Malta whose entry Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef and performed by Firelight is currently in fifth place. Conchita clearly gave a performance to be reckoned with, noting that the Bond-sounding anthem has been given a great visual presentation with lights, dry ice and some glitter towards the end. It is all about the key-change in the long run and Austria might be getting their best result in years should people vote according to the song. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: ORF


It was just weeks after the Eurovision Song Contest that the public broadcaster responsible for the participation of Austria at the international event announced Conchita Wurst as the next representative opting to forego the national selection process, following the disappointment at the hands of Natalia Kelly and her song Shine. There is no such thing as bad press, but it is worth noting that the artist, a man with a beard in drag has received a lot of negative criticism in both Russia and Belarus, with boycott being a severe possibility.

In a press conference held in Vienna earlier today, it was revealed that the song that Conchita will be performing in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest bears the name Rise Like a Phoenix and has an inspirational message, one which is empowering to both men and woman. It is co-written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas and is being promoted through an official music video which you may watch below. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set to take place at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 6th, 8th and 10th May 2014.

Source: ORF