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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 after walking through a door, 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 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 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
IconAlbania Albania
IconCroatia Croatia
IconNorth Macedonia North Macedonia
IconMontenegro Montenegro
IconSerbia Serbia
IconSlovenia Slovenia
IconSwitzerland Switzerland
IconDenmark Denmark
IconFinland Finland
IconIceland Iceland
IconIreland Ireland
IconNorway Norway
IconSweden Sweden
IconArmenia Armenia
IconAzerbaijan Azerbaijan
IconBelarus Belarus
IconGeorgia Georgia
IconRussia Russia
IconUkraine Ukraine
IconBulgaria Bulgaria
IconCyprus Cyprus
IconGreece Greece
IconHungary Hungary
IconMoldova Moldova
IconRomania Romania
IconAustralia Australia
IconAustria Austria
IconCzech Republic Czech Republic
IconIsrael Israel
IconMalta Malta
IconSan Marino San Marino
IconBelgium Belgium
IconEstonia Estonia
IconLatvia Latvia
IconLithuania Lithuania
IconThe Netherlands The Netherlands
IconPoland Poland
IconPortugal Portugal (Host)
IconFrance France
IconGermany Germany
IconItaly Italy
IconSpain Spain
IconUnited 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

IconPortugal Portugal, IconSpain Spain and IconUnited Kingdom United Kingdom voted in this semi. It took place on 8 May 2018.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 IconAzerbaijan Azerbaijan Aisel X My Heart English -- 11 94
02 IconIceland Iceland Ari Ólafsson Our Choice 19 15
03 IconAlbania Albania Eugent Bushpepa Mall Albanian Yearning 8 162
04 IconBelgium Belgium SENNEK A Matter of Time English -- 12 91
05 IconCzech Republic Czech Republic Mikolas Josef Lie to Me 3 232
06 IconLithuania Lithuania Ieva Zasimauskaitė When We're Old 9 119
07 IconIsrael Israel Netta Barzilai Toy 1 283
08 IconBelarus Belarus Alekseev Forever 16 65
09 IconEstonia Estonia Elina Nechayeva La Forza Italian The force 5 201
10 IconBulgaria Bulgaria Equinox Bones English -- 7 177
11 IconNorth Macedonia North Macedonia Eye Cue Lost and Found 18 24
12 IconCroatia Croatia Franka Crazy 17 63
13 IconAustria Austria Cesár Sampson Nobody But You 4 231
14 IconGreece Greece Gianna Terzi Oneiro Mou Greek My dream 14 81
15 IconFinland Finland Saara Aalto Monsters English -- 10 108
16 IconArmenia Armenia Sevak Khanagyan Qami Armenian Wind 15 79
17 IconSwitzerland Switzerland Zibbz Stones English -- 13 86
18 IconIreland Ireland Ryan O'Shaughnessy Together 6 179
19 IconCyprus Cyprus Eleni Foureira Fuego Fire 2 262


Semi Final Two

IconFrance France, IconGermany Germany and IconItaly Italy voted in this semi. It took place on 10 May 2018.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 IconNorway Norway Alexander Rybak That's How You Write a Song English -- 1 266
02 IconRomania Romania The Humans Goodbye 11 107
03 IconSerbia Serbia Balkanika Nova deca Serbian New kids 9 117
04 IconSan Marino San Marino Jessika ft. Jenifer Who We Are English -- 17 28
05 IconDenmark Denmark Rasmussen Higher Ground 5 204
06 IconRussia Russia Yulia Samoilova I Won't Break 15 65
07 IconMoldova Moldova DoReDos My Lucky Day 3 235
08 IconThe Netherlands The Netherlands Waylon Outlaw In 'Em 7 174
09 IconAustralia Australia Jessica Mauboy We Got Love 4 212
10 IconGeorgia Georgia Iriao Sheni Gulistvis Georgian For you 18 24
11 IconPoland Poland Gromee & Lukas Light Me Up English -- 14 81
12 IconMalta Malta Christabelle Taboo 13 101
13 IconHungary Hungary AWS Viszlát Nyár Hungarian Goodbye summer 10 111
14 IconLatvia Latvia Laura Rizzotto Funny Girl English -- 12 106
15 IconSweden Sweden Benjamin Ingrosso Dance You Off 2 254
16 IconMontenegro Montenegro Vanja Radovanović Inje Montenegrin Hoarfrost 16 40
17 IconSlovenia Slovenia Lea Sirk Hvala, ne! Slovene Thanks, but no 8 132
18 IconUkraine 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 IconUkraine Ukraine Melovin Under The Ladder English -- 17 130
02 IconSpain Spain Alfred & Amaia Tu canción Spanish Your song 23 61
03 IconSlovenia Slovenia Lea Sirk Hvala, ne! Slovene Thanks, but no 22 64
04 IconLithuania Lithuania Ieva Zasimauskaitė When We're Old English -- 12 181
05 IconAustria Austria Cesár Sampson Nobody But You 3 342
06 IconEstonia Estonia Elina Nechayeva La Forza Italian The force 8 245
07 IconNorway Norway Alexander Rybak That's How You Write a Song English -- 15 144
08 IconPortugal Portugal Cláudia Pascoal O jardim Portuguese The garden 26 39
09 IconUnited Kingdom United Kingdom SuRie Storm English -- 24 48
10 IconSerbia Serbia Balkanika Nova deca Serbian New kids 19 113
11 IconGermany Germany Michael Schulte You Let Me Walk Alone English -- 4 340
12 IconAlbania Albania Eugent Bushpepa Mall Albanian Yearning 11 184
13 IconFrance France Madame Monsieur Mercy French -- 13 173
14 IconCzech Republic Czech Republic Mikolas Josef Lie to Me English 6 281
15 IconDenmark Denmark Rasmussen Higher Ground 9 226
16 IconAustralia Australia Jessica Mauboy We Got Love 20 99
17 IconFinland Finland Saara Aalto Monsters 25 46
18 IconBulgaria Bulgaria Equinox Bones 14 166
19 IconMoldova Moldova DoReDos My Lucky Day 10 209
20 IconSweden Sweden Benjamin Ingrosso Dance You Off 7 274
21 IconHungary Hungary AWS Viszlát Nyár Hungarian Goodbye summer 21 93
22 IconIsrael Israel Netta Barzilai Toy English -- 1 529
23 IconThe Netherlands The Netherlands Waylon Outlaw In 'Em 18 121
24 IconIreland Ireland Ryan O'Shaughnessy Together 16 136
25 IconCyprus Cyprus Eleni Foureira Fuego Fire 2 436
26 IconItaly Italy Ermal & Fabrizio Non mi avete fatto niente Italian You didn't do anything to me 5 308

Withdrawing Countries

  • IconAndorra Andorra - RTVA confirmed on 14 May 2017 the country would not return to the 2018 contest, citing financial issues. [2]
  • IconBosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina BHRT confirmed on 18 September 2017 that Bosnia and Herzegovina will not return for 2018.
  • IconKazakhstan 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.
  • IconLiechtenstein Liechtenstein - 1FLTV confirmed on 1 September 2017 that Liechtenstein will not debut in 2018. They are hoping to debut in 2019.[3]
  • IconLuxembourg Luxembourg - RTL confirmed on 22 May 2017 that Luxembourg would not return for 2018.
  • IconMonaco Monaco - TMC confirmed on 31 August 2017 that Monaco would not return for 2018.
  • IconSlovakia Slovakia - RTVS confirmed on 11 September 2017 that Slovakia would not return for 2018.
  • IconTurkey 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

  • IconUnited 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.
  • IconCanada OUTtv announced on 13 April 2018 that it would not broadcast the contest in Canada.

References

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