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The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be the 63rd of its kind and will be held in Lisbon, Portugal at the Altice Arena following Salvador Sobral's win in Kiev the previous year. The official dates for this contest announced by the EBU are as follows:

  • Semifinal 1: 8 May 2018
  • Semifinal 2: 10 May 2018
  • Grand Final: 12 May 2018

43 countries will participate, Russia returning after a 1-year absence. This equals the record set in 2008 and 2011.

The provisional list of participating countries is as follows:


Format

Presenters

Sílvia Alberto, Filomena Cautela, Daniela Ruah and Catarina Furtado were officially revealed as the presenters on 8 January 2018. It is the first time since 2015 for an all-female presenting team, and the first time a quartet of presenters would share the stage together.

Theme

The theme of the 2018 contest is All Aboard! The central image is a seashell with 12 other marine images supporting the central theme - an invitation to the international community to come together to celebrate the event. It also symbolizes Portugal's connection and affinity with the sea.

The message behind the theme is expressed by the EBU like this:

"Europe is a collective of many, and this has also inspired RTP’s design team to introduce multiple logos for 2018, rather than a single image. The main logo, depicting a shell, will be used alongside 12 other versions. They are designed around the concept of the varying life in the oceans which depict the wonders of a floating world, such as plankton and a range of other organisms which are essential for balance in aquatic ecosystems. Through these multiple logos, the creative concept portrays key themes such as diversity, respect and tolerance."

Incidents

Greek final falls apart

Greek broadcaster ERT had initially set up a 5-song national final set for 22 February 2018. However, two songs were disqualified for "not being Greek enough" while two more were thrown out due to the record labels behind them not being able to pay the required financial deposit. This fallout left Gianna Terzi as the only participant standing, leaving ERT no choice but to select her internally.

Belarus

Alekseev had originally intended to participate in the Ukrainian national selection with his song "Forever", however he decided to drop out and take part in the Belarusian selection instead. It had been discovered that the Russian version of his song had been performed in public several times prior to 1 September 2017, which was against the rules of the selection set by BTRC. Following this, seven of the other ten finalists threatened to drop out if Alekseev was not disqualified, believing the show was rigged in his favor (one artist, Sofi Lapina, carried out that threat and withdrew - BTRC blocked several of her songs while ignoring Alekseev altogether). The broadcaster later ruled that Alekseev would remain in the competition, and he went on to win the national final.

Participants

The semi-final allocation draw was held on 29 January 2018 at the City Hall of Lisbon, and hosted by Sílvia Alberto and Filomena Cautela. The insignia handover ceremony took place before the draw begins, officially beginning the countdown to the contest.

The pots will be as follows, calculated by the EBU's voting providers Digame and based on voting patterns over the past 10 years:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Pot 5 Pot 6 Finalists
Flag of Albania Albania
Flag of Croatia Croatia
Flag of Macedonia FYR Macedonia
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro
Flag of Slovenia Slovenia
Flag of Switzerland Switzerland
Flag of Denmark Denmark
Flag of Finland Finland
Flag of Iceland Iceland
Flag of Ireland Ireland
Norway Norway
Flag of Sweden Sweden
Flag of Armenia Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
Flag of Belarus Belarus
Flag of Georgia Georgia
Flag of Russia Russia
Flag of Ukraine Ukraine
Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria
Flag of Cyprus Cyprus
Flag of Greece Greece
Flag of Hungary Hungary
Flag of Moldova Moldova
Flag of Romania Romania
Flag of Australia Australia
Flag of Austria Austria
Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic
Flag of Israel Israel
Flag of Malta Malta
Flag of San Marino San Marino
Flag of Belgium Belgium
Flag of Estonia Estonia
Flag of Latvia Latvia
Flag of Lithuania Lithuania
Flag of the Netherlands The Netherlands
Flag of Poland Poland
Flag of Portugal Portugal (Host)
France France
Flag of Germany Germany
Flag of Italy Italy
Flag of Spain Spain
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom

Pre-Allocations

  • Italy was pre-allocated to broadcast and vote in semifinal 2 as per a request from RAI, which was approved by the Reference Group

Returning Artists

Artist(s) Previous Year(s)
Waylon 2014 (with The Common Linnets)
Jessica Mauboy 2014 (Semi 2 interval act)
Cesár Sampson 2016, 2017 (backing for Poli Genova and Kristian Kostov)
SuRie 2015, 2017 (backing for Loïc Nottet and Blanche)

Semi Final One

Flag of Portugal Portugal, Flag of Spain Spain and Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom will vote in this semi. It will take place on 8 May 2018.

(Until the final point totals are released, those in both semis who have qualified will have "Q" as their placement)

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

Semi Final Two

France France, Flag of Germany Germany and Flag of Italy Italy will vote in this semi. It will take place on 10 May 2018.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

Big Five

The Big Five participants will temporarily be listed here. They will draw their grand final allocation halves either during their post-second rehearsal press conferences or during the opening ceremony on 6 May 2018.

Until the final running order is completed after the conclusion of the second semifinal, they will either have "H1" (first half) or "H2" (second half) as their draw designation.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation
France France Madame Monsieur Mercy French --
Flag of Germany Germany
Flag of Italy Italy Ermal & Fabrizio Non mi avete fatto niente Italian You didn't do anything to me
Flag of Spain Spain Alfred & Amaia Tu canción Spanish Your song
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom SuRie Storm English --

Grand Final

All countries will vote. The final will take place on 12 May 2018. Portugal's place in the running order will be decided during the Head of Delegations meetings in March 2018.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26

Withdrawing Countries

  • Flag of Andorra Andorra - RTVA confirmed on 14 May 2017 the country would not return to the 2018 contest, citing financial issues. [37]
  • Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina BHRT confirmed on 18 September 2017 that Bosnia and Herzegovina will not return for 2018.
  • Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan has expressed their desire to debut in 2018. However, as their broadcaster (Khabar Agency) is an associate EBU member like Australia's SBS, they will require being invited by the EBU and/or RTP.
  • Flag of Kosovo RTK confirmed on 27 September 2017 that Kosovo will not debut in 2018. The broadcaster is not a full or associate member of the EBU, nor is it a member of the International Telecommunications Union, which is a requirement under EBU statutes for membership.
  • Flag of Liechtenstein 1FLTV confirmed on 1 September 2017 that Liechtenstein will not debut in 2018. They are planning to debut in 2019.[38]
  • Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg - RTL confirmed on 22 May 2017 that Luxembourg would not return for 2018.
  • Flag of Monaco Monaco - TMC confirmed on 31 August 2017 that Monaco would not return for 2018.
  • Flag of Slovakia Slovakia - RTVS confirmed on 11 September 2017 that Slovakia would not return for 2018.
  • Flag of Turkey Turkey - After numerous rumors from past artists including 2003 winner Sertab Erener and 2010 runner-up maNga, TRT confirmed on 7 August 2017 that Turkey will not return for 2018.

Other Countries

  • Flag of the United States It was confirmed by Michelle Visage on 28 August 2017 that she and Ross Matthews would return to do commentary for the United States at the 2018 contest on Logo TV.

References

  1. https://eurovoix.com/2017/03/22/russia-regardless-host-country-yulia-will-compete-eurovision-2018/
  2. http://esctoday.com/149320/albania-rtsh-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  3. http://www.escportugal.pt/2017/08/esc2018-amptv-aprova-participacao-no.html
  4. http://wiwibloggs.com/2017/07/07/orf-confirms-internal-selection-austrias-eurovision/192936/
  5. http://esctoday.com/149281/australia-sbs-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  6. http://esctoday.com/149209/azerbaijan-ictimai-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2018/
  7. http://esctoday.com/149364/belarus-btrc-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  8. https://songfestival.be/en/landen/be/geen-eurosong-2018-vrt-kiest-intern/
  9. https://eurovoix.com/2017/09/17/bulgaria-bnt-confirms-eurovision-2018-participation/
  10. http://esctoday.com/149382/croatia-hrt-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  11. http://infegreece.gr/me-ethniko-teliko-i-kipros-gia-ti-eurovision-2018/
  12. https://eurovoix.com/2017/05/16/czech-republic-ceska-televize-plans-regular-eurovision-participation/
  13. https://eurovoix.com/2017/07/04/denmark-dansk-melodi-grand-prix-undergoes-revamp-2018/
  14. https://eurovoix.com/2017/05/02/estonia-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  15. https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2017/01/28/osallistu-uuden-musiikin-kilpailun-2018-syyskuussa
  16. http://www.escapenews.org/georgia-will-compete-in-the-2018-eurovision/
  17. http://www.zappit.gr/psychagogia/eurovision-2017-dionysis-tsaknis-eurovision-einai-mia-ypochreosi-tis-ert/907277
  18. http://wiwibloggs.com/2017/10/09/hungary-eurovision-2018-confirmed/197818/
  19. http://esctoday.com/149171/iceland-ruv-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2018/
  20. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-news/perhaps-its-time-for-national-song-contest-to-come-back-marty-whelan-on-eurovision-35780907.html
  21. http://wiwibloggs.com/2017/10/03/israel-confirms-eurovision-2018-new-broadcaster-ipbc-kan/197294/
  22. https://eurovoix.com/2017/06/27/latvia-confirms-eurovision-2018-participation/
  23. https://eurovoix.com/2017/02/18/lithuania-klaipeda-final-changes-format/
  24. https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170516/local/no-change-to-eurovision-selection-process-despite-worst-result-in-10.648129
  25. http://www.montevizija.ml/vidimo-se-u-portugalu-crna-gora-potvrdila-ucesce-na-pjesmi-evrovizije-2018.html
  26. http://esctoday.com/149247/the-netherlands-avrotros-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2018/
  27. https://www.nrk.no/mgp/mgp-frir-til-norges-beste-komponister-1.13318930
  28. https://eurovoix.com/2017/05/15/poland-tvp-provisionally-confirmed-eurovision-2018/
  29. http://wiwibloggs.com/2017/07/07/romania-tvr-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/192942/
  30. https://eurovoix.com/2017/03/22/russia-regardless-host-country-yulia-will-compete-eurovision-2018/
  31. https://eurovoix.com/2017/10/15/san-marino-bring-revolutionary-project-eurovision-2018/
  32. http://esctoday.com/149156/serbia-rts-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  33. http://esctoday.com/149336/slovenia-rtvslo-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  34. https://www.svt.se/melodifestivalen/melodifestivalen-och-eurovision-vanliga-fragor
  35. https://eurovoix.com/2017/06/30/switzerland-eurovision-2018-participation-confirmed/
  36. http://esctoday.com/149366/ukraine-uapbc-confirms-participation-eurovision-2018/
  37. https://eurovoix.com/2017/05/14/andorra-no-return-eurovision-song-contest-2018/
  38. https://eurovoix.com/2017/11/07/liechtenstein-details-regarding-planned-2019-debut-released/