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.
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.
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."
The 2018 postcards feature the artists experiencing adventures throughout Portugal after walking through a door, with each participant taking part in cultural activities in different parts of the country.
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.
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 and qualification reaction shots 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 along the lines of "Nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom! War is not peace!" 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.
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|
| Portugal (Host)|
- 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
|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
|01||Azerbaijan||Aisel||X My Heart||English||--||11||94|
|02||Iceland||Ari Ólafsson||Our Choice||19||15|
|04||Belgium||SENNEK||A Matter of Time||English||--||12||91|
|05||Czech Republic||Mikolas Josef||Lie to Me||3||232|
|06||Lithuania||Ieva Zasimauskaitė||When We're Old||9||119|
|09||Estonia||Elina Nechayeva||La Forza||Italian||The force||5||201|
|11||North Macedonia||Eye Cue||Lost and Found||18||24|
|13||Austria||Cesár Sampson||Nobody But You||4||231|
|14||Greece||Gianna Terzi||Oneiro Mou||Greek||My dream||14||81|
Semi Final Two
|01||Norway||Alexander Rybak||That's How You Write a Song||English||--||1||266|
|03||Serbia||Balkanika||Nova deca||Serbian||New kids||9||117|
|04||San Marino||Jessika ft. Jenifer||Who We Are||English||--||17||28|
|06||Russia||Yulia Samoilova||I Won't Break||15||65|
|07||Moldova||DoReDos||My Lucky Day||3||235|
|08||The Netherlands||Waylon||Outlaw In 'Em||7||174|
|09||Australia||Jessica Mauboy||We Got Love||4||212|
|10||Georgia||Iriao||Sheni Gulistvis||Georgian||For you||18||24|
|11||Poland||Gromee & Lukas||Light Me Up||English||--||14||81|
|13||Hungary||AWS||Viszlát Nyár||Hungarian||Goodbye summer||10||111|
|14||Latvia||Laura Rizzotto||Funny Girl||English||--||12||106|
|15||Sweden||Benjamin Ingrosso||Dance You Off||2||254|
|17||Slovenia||Lea Sirk||Hvala, ne!||Slovene||Thanks, but no||8||132|
|18||Ukraine||Melovin||Under The Ladder||English||--||6||179|
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.
- Andorra - RTVA confirmed on 14 May 2017 the country would not return to the 2018 contest, citing financial issues. 
- Bosnia and Herzegovina BHRT confirmed on 18 September 2017 that Bosnia and Herzegovina will not return for 2018.
- 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.
- Liechtenstein - 1FLTV confirmed on 1 September 2017 that Liechtenstein will not debut in 2018. They are hoping to debut in 2019.
- Luxembourg - RTL confirmed on 22 May 2017 that Luxembourg would not return for 2018.
- Monaco - TMC confirmed on 31 August 2017 that Monaco would not return for 2018.
- Slovakia - RTVS confirmed on 11 September 2017 that Slovakia would not return for 2018.
- 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.
- 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.
- OUTtv announced on 13 April 2018 that it would not broadcast the contest in Canada.