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The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 was the 63rd of its kind and was 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 were as follows:

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

43 countries participated, Russia returning after a 1-year absence. This equals the record set in 2008 and 2011. For the first time since 2011, no countries withdrew.

The contest was won was by Israel's Netta Barzilai with the song Toy, giving the country its 4th win and first in 20 years. Rounding out the top 3 were Cyprus in second place (its best result in its contest history), with Austria in third.

Romania, Russia and Azerbaijan's 100% qualification streaks were snapped, while none of the Caucasus nations (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) advanced from the semifinals for the first time in 13 years.

Three members of the Big Five made the left-hand side of the scoreboard: Germany in 4th place (its best result since 2010), Italy in 5th, and France in 13th.

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."

Postcards

The 2018 postcards feature the artists experiencing adventures throughout Portugal, with each participant taking part in cultural activities in different parts of the country.

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.

Chinese broadcast censorship

During the Chinese broadcast of the first semifinal on Mango TV, the performances of Albania and Ireland were edited out along with their recap snippets due to a national ban on TV performers displaying tattoos for the former and a representation of a same-sex couple in the performance of the latter. Additionally, a rainbow Pride flag was blurred out at several points in the telecast, as well as tattoos displayed by Corinne Gfeller of Zibbz during the Swiss performance.

On 10 May 2018, the EBU announced that because of this, the partnership with Mango TV was terminated and the channel would be unable to broadcast the remainder of the 2018 contest.

United Kingdom stage invasion

Halfway through the performance of SuRie during the grand final, a protester ran on stage and shouted an unclear message into her microphone before being escorted off by security. The EBU offered the UK delegation the opportunity to perform again, however SuRie declined citing she was proud of her performance and had nothing more to prove. The live performance during the grand final was replaced by her jury final performance for the official YouTube channel and DVD release.

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 began, officially beginning the countdown to the contest.

The pots are as follows, calculated by the EBU's voting providers Digame and based on voting patterns over the past 12 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 Serbia Serbia
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

  • Due to scheduling conflicts, 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)
Alexander Rybak 2009 (winner)

Semi Final One

Flag of Portugal Portugal, Flag of Spain Spain and Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom voted in this semi. It took 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 Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Aisel X My Heart English -- 11 94
02 Flag of Iceland Iceland Ari Ólafsson Our Choice 19 15
03 Flag of Albania Albania Eugent Bushpepa Mall Albanian Yearning 8 162
04 Flag of Belgium Belgium SENNEK A Matter of Time English -- 12 91
05 Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic Mikolas Josef Lie to Me 3 232
06 Flag of Lithuania Lithuania Ieva Zasimauskaitė When We're Old 9 119
07 Flag of Israel Israel Netta Barzilai Toy 1 283
08 Flag of Belarus Belarus Alekseev Forever 16 65
09 Flag of Estonia Estonia Elina Nechayeva La Forza Italian The force 5 201
10 Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria Equinox Bones English -- 7 177
11 Flag of Macedonia FYR Macedonia Eye Cue Lost and Found 18 24
12 Flag of Croatia Croatia Franka Crazy 17 63
13 Flag of Austria Austria Cesár Sampson Nobody But You 4 231
14 Flag of Greece Greece Gianna Terzi Oneiro Mou Greek My dream 14 81
15 Flag of Finland Finland Saara Aalto Monsters English -- 10 108
16 Flag of Armenia Armenia Sevak Khanagyan Qami Armenian Wind 15 79
17 Flag of Switzerland Switzerland Zibbz Stones English -- 13 86
18 Flag of Ireland Ireland Ryan O'Shaughnessy Together 6 179
19 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Eleni Foureira Fuego Fire 2 262


Semi Final Two

France France, Flag of Germany Germany and Flag of Italy Italy voted in this semi. It took place on 10 May 2018.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Norway Norway Alexander Rybak That's How You Write a Song English -- 1 266
02 Flag of Romania Romania The Humans Goodbye 11 107
03 Flag of Serbia Serbia Balkanika Nova deca Serbian New kids 9 117
04 Flag of San Marino San Marino Jessika ft. Jenifer Who We Are English -- 17 28
05 Flag of Denmark Denmark Rasmussen Higher Ground 5 204
06 Flag of Russia Russia Yulia Samoilova I Won't Break 15 65
07 Flag of Moldova Moldova DoReDos My Lucky Day 3 235
08 Flag of the Netherlands The Netherlands Waylon Outlaw In 'Em 7 174
09 Flag of Australia Australia Jessica Mauboy We Got Love 4 212
10 Flag of Georgia Georgia Iriao Sheni Gulistvis Georgian For you 18 24
11 Flag of Poland Poland Gromee & Lukas Light Me Up English -- 14 81
12 Flag of Malta Malta Christabelle Taboo 13 101
13 Flag of Hungary Hungary AWS Viszlát Nyár Hungarian Goodbye summer 10 111
14 Flag of Latvia Latvia Laura Rizzotto Funny Girl English -- 12 106
15 Flag of Sweden Sweden Benjamin Ingrosso Dance You Off 2 254
16 Flag of Montenegro Montenegro Vanja Radovanović Inje Montenegrin Hoarfrost 16 40
17 Flag of Slovenia Slovenia Lea Sirk Hvala, ne! Slovene Thanks, but no 8 132
18 Flag of Ukraine Ukraine Melovin Under The Ladder English -- 6 179

Grand Final

All voted. The final took place on 12 May 2018. Portugal's place in the running order was decided during the Head of Delegations meetings on 12 March 2018.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Ukraine Ukraine Melovin Under The Ladder English -- 17 130
02 Flag of Spain Spain Alfred & Amaia Tu canción Spanish Your song 23 61
03 Flag of Slovenia Slovenia Lea Sirk Hvala, ne! Slovene Thanks, but no 22 64
04 Flag of Lithuania Lithuania Ieva Zasimauskaitė When We're Old English -- 12 181
05 Flag of Austria Austria Cesár Sampson Nobody But You 3 342
06 Flag of Estonia Estonia Elina Nechayeva La Forza Italian The force 8 245
07 Norway Norway Alexander Rybak That's How You Write a Song English -- 15 144
08 Flag of Portugal Portugal Cláudia Pascoal O jardim Portuguese The garden 26 39
09 Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom SuRie Storm English -- 24 48
10 Flag of Serbia Serbia Balkanika Nova deca Serbian New kids 19 113
11 Flag of Germany Germany Michael Schulte You Let Me Walk Alone English -- 4 340
12 Flag of Albania Albania Eugent Bushpepa Mall Albanian Yearning 11 184
13 France France Madame Monsieur Mercy French -- 13 173
14 Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic Mikolas Josef Lie to Me English 6 281
15 Flag of Denmark Denmark Rasmussen Higher Ground 9 226
16 Flag of Australia Australia Jessica Mauboy We Got Love 20 99
17 Flag of Finland Finland Saara Aalto Monsters 25 46
18 Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria Equinox Bones 14 166
19 Flag of Moldova Moldova DoReDos My Lucky Day 10 209
20 Flag of Sweden Sweden Benjamin Ingrosso Dance You Off 7 274
21 Flag of Hungary Hungary AWS Viszlát Nyár Hungarian Goodbye summer 21 93
22 Flag of Israel Israel Netta Barzilai Toy English -- 1 529
23 Flag of the Netherlands The Netherlands Waylon Outlaw In 'Em 18 121
24 Flag of Ireland Ireland Ryan O'Shaughnessy Together 16 136
25 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Eleni Foureira Fuego Fire 2 436
26 Flag of Italy Italy Ermal & Fabrizio Non mi avete fatto niente Italian You didn't do anything to me 5 308

Withdrawing Countries

  • Flag of Andorra Andorra - RTVA confirmed on 14 May 2017 the country would not return to the 2018 contest, citing financial issues. [2]
  • 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 - The country had 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. They did, however, air all three shows.
  • Flag of Liechtenstein Liechtenstein - 1FLTV confirmed on 1 September 2017 that Liechtenstein will not debut in 2018. They are hoping to debut in 2019.[3]
  • 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 Logo TV broadcast the grand final in the United States for the third consecutive year with commentary by Ross Matthews. Shangela replaces Michelle Visage as co-commentator. It was also broadcast on radio on New Bedford, Massachusetts station WJFD 97.3 with both English and Portuguese commentary. English commentary was provided by Ewan Spence and Lisa Jayne from ESCInsight.
  • Flag of Canada OUTtv announced on 13 April 2018 that it would not broadcast the contest in Canada.

References