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German Eurovision juror forced to defend nul points for Conchita

A rapper who was part of the expert panel from Germany at this year's Eurovision Song Content and said the Austrian entry belonged in a cage at a circus has been forced to defend the panel's bid to give Conchita Wurst "Nul Points"

Controversial German rapper Sido had already sat on expert panels that Conchita Wurst had previously faced on her journey to the final, and made no secret of the fact that he was not a fan.

And in one interview, published in Austria before the contest, when asked what he thought about Conchita he replied: "I guess it was obvious that someone like Frau Wurst would go forward. In earlier times there used to be women with beards as well who were also quite popular, but in the circus, in a cage. You'd pay your five pieces of silver and you could wander in and look at them. The only difference is that nowadays you get to see them for free, or at least if you pay your TV licence fee."

In the end the Germans gave Conchita seven points after the experts ranked her in 11th place, but the public had placed her a clear number one. Combined with the expert score it meant a ranking of four which converted into a total of seven points. In no other country was the difference so extreme between the public vote and the expert panel.

That means that if it had been down to the German public Austria would have got 12 points. Instead German singer Helene Fischer revealed it was 7 when she announced the results live during the competition.

Alongside Sido and the singer Andreas Bourani there was also Jennifer-Rostock frontwoman Jennifer Weist, songwriter Madeline Juno and Talentscout Konrad Sommermeyer on the panel.

But only Jennifer Weist seems to have been in favour of the Austrian with a 9 ranking, according to all the rest they tried to give her no points. Yet apparently beforehand Andreas Bourani had said that Conchita Wurst was one of his favourites before the event place, adding: "I really think that she does have a very good chance of winning."

An explanation as to why they rated her so low was not given when requested by German media, but later Sido tweeted: "It is not fair to accuse me of lacking tolerance, I gave all the candidates the same chance to impress. I valued them regardless of nationality, religion or their sexual orientation. What counted was the music, the composition, the voice and the performance. Nothing else influenced my decision."

Sido however had voted for Denmark, that ended up coming in at rank number nine.

The German vote came as no surprise to Conchita and her team. They had already warned prior to the voting that they weren't expecting to get very many points on a jury that had Sido on the team. But despite his opposition it didn't stop her winning with a significant victory.

Sido, alias Paul Hartmut Wuerdig, is unlikely to see any consequences though as he seems to have a charmed life not just in Germany but also in Austria where he features frequently as a member of the jury on casting shows.

Last year a reporter working for the Austrian broadcasting corporation ORF that asked him questions he did not like was punched by Sido. The end result was that Sido kept his job, but the reporter who was punched was sacked.

The ORF said it was looking to save money and denied the decision to axe reporter Dominic Heinzl was anything to do with the fight.

German rapper Sido, whose name is a shortening of the phrase Super Intelligent Drug Addict (super-intelligentes Drogenopfer), hit Heinzl and then proceeded to swear at him, bizarrely telling him it was a good thing his mother was dead as she was a prostitute. It is not the first scandal involving the rapper, who was fined 14,000 EUR (11,000 GBP) for throwing a stone at a disabled woman in August 2007.

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