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Conchita sheds her image to become tough guy Tom

It may be hard to believe but these snaps show the real man behind Conchita Wurst.

The star took the pics himself Austrian media reported in a bid to show that behind the glamorous exterior is a real man - and his other side.

And that other side of 25-year-old Tom Neuwirth is the exact opposite of the glamorous female alter ego.

One of the images shows him with a military look, his trademark eyes not recognisable, but a clearly visible toned six pack. On others he has a nose ring.

That something like this was under the hair and the dress is hard to believe, and shows how carefully managed the change to female singer that took the world by storm was carried out.

It also shows why, when on the streets and without the beard, Tom is unrecognisable.

Those who would recognise her are those that knew her as Tom, for example the priest who ran Tom's Holy Communion classes and who has known him for 14 years, Michael Unger. He said as far as he is concerned Tom as Conchita looks great. When asked about her change to Conchita Wurst he said: "I just see them as Tom's work clothes, and he looks great."

He added: "He was always an attractive and very energetic boy and had a great voice. I always said to him apply in a song contest somewhere." Luckily, he did just that.

Kurt Winter was Tom's form tutor when he was at school in the Austrian town of Bad Mitterndorf. He said: "Tom was a great artist. He was always decorating his desk at school according to the time of year. Often with flowers, and he also had an alarm clock on his desk. When it was break time he put out a table cloth and had a picnic on his desk.

"When he was 14 he asked me if he could organise a fashion show. I said yes of course. He designed all the clothes for everyone and organised the choreography. He organised the whole thing.

"He even designed an evening gown for my wife."

A friend of his from kindergarten Kristin Grieshofer said: "I always knew one day Tom would be famous."

Now working as a nurse she said Tom was like a brother, and a sister.

She said: "He always told me he wanted to be rich and famous. I never had any doubt that Conchita would be a huge success."

She said that Tom had often borrowed her dresses, and he cried at his first communion because he had to wear a pair of trousers. He had wanted to wear a dress.

"But he had worn dresses to school. He was always exotic. He had a lot of nasty comments and abuse, but it gave him a tough skin. I reckon its made him a lot tougher than you might think."

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