If you went back in time and told everyone in 2012 that Austria would win by a large margin with Conchita Wurst and that the Netherlands would come second with a country song, everyone would think you were out of your mind. I got 7 out of the top 10 right, missing Denmark, Russia, and Spain, instead picking Azerbaijan, Greece, and the United Kingdom. It seems you can bet against Azerbaijan coming top 10.
Various internet and "wurstspace" commenters have worried about the implications of Austria's win on the future and reputation of the Eurovision Song Contests. The camp spectacle of Conchita's performance allegedly reinforces that Eurovision is about trash for a mostly gay audience and is completely irrelevant to mainstream serious music. However, while it's hard to tell that it will be an international chart hit (which really was a stars-aligning anomaly with "Euphoria"), what if "Rise Like a Phoenix" is actually very relevant in popular culture?
Drag is increasing in mainstream popularity, especially due to the reality competition RuPaul's Drag Race. The United States show has aired in several European countries and has a dedicated internet following. Many of the most popular alums of the show have toured Europe. Jonathan Ross even announced he's planning on creating a British version of the show. With social media, drag performances and performers are reaching a much wider audience than just those who show up to clubs. Conchita herself even has a makeup tutorial on YouTube with half a million views to date -- if that doesn't say #JoinUs then what does?
As for the song itself, it can't be denied that it is old-fashioned, but that's not to say it's irrelevant. Most critics (myself included) compared it to 60's Bond themes, which had a revival in "Skyfall", which won the Oscar for Best Original Song. But maybe it's better to compare it to this year's winner of that award instead, the massive breakout hit "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. "Let It Go" is a big Broadway ballad that, while it represents the opposite element of ice rather than fire, it has the same theme of rebirth and embracing your differences. The whole package led to its victory, but "Rise Like A Phoenix" still could have won with a female vocalist, provided she had the sound and power of Idina Menzel and had the same staging. "That's What I Am" certainly wouldn't have come close to winning as sung by Conchita or anybody else. Both the song and the performer were right, and occurred at the right time.
Another year of Eurovision is over. This year's show was a great one, with good production and a great stage. The future of the contest isn't in jeopardy just because a performer wearing a beard and a dress won, no more than it was because performers in monster masks won.