Austrian drag artist Conchita Wurst has won the Eurovision Song Contest, despite causing controversy in Eastern Europe.

Wurst, who represented Austria with ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’, emerged as the winner after a close-fought race, with 290 points.

The Netherlands was in second place with 238 points.

The victory of the drag queen, played by Tom Neuwirth, means the contest will head to Austria next year, with Wurst likely to reprise her winning performance once more.

She said: “This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom.

“You know who you are, we are unity, and we are unstoppable!”

Wurst’s selection had caused considerable backlash, with petitions in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus calling for her to be disqualified, or edited out of the broadcast in their country.

Russian MP Vitaly Milonov had also called for the country to boycott the contest over Wurst’s seleciton, labelling it the ‘Eurovision sodom show’.

He had said: “Even just broadcasting the competition in Russia could insult millions of Russians.

“The participation of the obvious transvestite and hermaphrodite Conchita Wurst on the same stage as Russian singers on live television is blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay.”

Russia’s own entry – the Tolmachevy Sisters – fared less well, after being loudly booed by the crowd when they qualified for tonight’s final.

UK entry Molly Smitten-Downes fared better in the contest than in recent years, winning just 40 points.

She said earlier: “Conchita is a brilliant singer and getting a lot of love from everywhere.

“I was so surprised when I heard there was a bearded lady in the contest, I was like ‘Whaaat?’

“But she is so attractive. She dresses incredibly. You see her from behind and then she turns around and has a beard. It is a bit of a shock!”

On Wednesday, three Russian same-sex couples married in the contest’s host city, Copenhagen.

Watch the video for ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’ below: