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Reactions to the Eurovision song contest

May 14th, 2014

Baffled right-wing commentators find the transvestite winner hard to accept. One claims that Eurovision attracts gay audiences, another calls the outcome of the vote an aberration. Their left-wing counterpart thinks Austria may benefit from the Conchita Wurst case.
Hungary traditionally has a strong presence at the Eurovision Song Contest. This year’s contestant, András Kállay-Saunders reached 5th place with an English language song on domestic violence, the second best Hungarian ranking so far.
Zsolt Bayer, pro-government Magyar Hírlap’s leading commentator finds it a sad sign of “European idiocy” that while sexy Russian girls were whistled at by the public,  the bearded “woman” was celebrated and won the contest. He wishes that “a friend of his” was right in suggesting that in reality “Europe voted for the sexy Swedish woman and the loaded Polish gals”, and Conchita Wurst’s victory was in fact the fruit of shady machinations inside the computer room.

Magyar Nemzet’s editorial takes a milder tone and emphasizes that tolerance and understanding for different points of views are important. However, the author, Gábor D. Horváth says he does not know “how to explain this to children”. If it is acceptable that the Russian girls are booed, he continues, then tolerance is not a word to be applied to the Eurovision contest. He thinks the show in general has become “imbued with sexism”, a label that he applies to the Polish group’s performance as well, for he thinks both performances must hurt women’s feelings. He believes Conchita Wurst was “a favourite with gay audiences” which explains “her” victory. He also speculates that a bearded lady was needed to enliven an otherwise boring event.  Therefore “Austrians were quite right: this contest could only be won by Conchita Wurst”.

In Népszabadság, András Dési remarks that a hundred and fifty years ago Europe used to shudder at the sight of bearded women paraded in travelling circuses. Now Europeans celebrate Tom Neuwirth who plays a consciously construed game with sexual roles, as Conchita Wurst. He may well be a media-hack, Dési adds, but after all “the whole story is about love and inclusion”. He concludes that Austria may gain a lot from showing that side of herself to the world.

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