|Eurovision Song Contest 2018|
|Semi-final 1 date||8 May 2018|
|Semi-final 2 date||10 May 2018|
|Final date||12 May 2018|
|Venue||MEO Arena, Lisbon, Portugal|
|Presenter(s)|| Sílvia Alberto|
|Executive supervisor||Jon Ola Sand|
|Number of entries||43|
|Voting system||Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting.|
"Toy" by Netta Barzilai
|Eurovision Song Contest|
Russia returned after withdrawing from the 2017 edition, following the ban of their representative from entering Ukraine, host country of 2017 contest. On 21 October, the Portuguese broadcaster RTP confirmed that 43 countries would participate in the contest, expecting the official confirmations from Moldova and Russia. This means that this will be the largest ever contest alongside 2008 and 2011. Although it was originally announced on October 30 that F.Y.R. Macedonia would not be participating due to an unpaid debt it was announced on November 17 that they had been given the go ahead to participate.
The contest took place for the first time in Portugal, following the country's victory in the 2017 edition with the song "Amar pelos dois", performed by Salvador Sobral. After a bidding phase, the MEO Arena in Lisbon was selected as the venue by host broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The multi-purpose arena was built for the Expo '98 and has a capacity of 20,000 attendees, making it the largest indoor venue in Portugal and among the largest in Europe. It is located in the heart of the modern Parque das Nações riverside district, which hosted the Expo '98, in the northeast of Lisbon. It is connected by metro to the nearby international airport and by train (Oriente Station) to the rest of the country and Europe.
Bidding phase and host selection
On the day of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 final, it was reported that Portuguese broadcaster RTP would accept the challenge of organising the 2018 contest in case of a victory. Following Sobral's triumph, the EBU's Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, issued the hosting invitation to RTP during the winner's press conference. The following day, the director-general of RTP, Nuno Artur Silva, confirmed that the broadcaster would organise the contest in 2018 and mentioned the MEO Arena in Lisbon as a likely venue to host the contest. On 15 May 2017, RTP appeared to have confirmed Lisbon as the host city, but clarified the following day that no final decision had been taken regarding both the host city and venue.
The basic requirements to select a host city were set out in a document presented by the EBU to RTP following their win in Kiev:
- A suitable venue that can accommodate around 10,000 spectators.
- An international press centre for 1,500 journalists with adequate facilities for all the delegates.
- A good distribution of hotel rooms, at different price categories, able to accommodate at least 2,000 delegates, accredited journalists and spectators.
- An efficient transport infrastructure, including a nearby international airport with readily available connections with the city, venue and hotels.
Besides Lisbon, other cities signaled their interest in bidding to host the 2018 contest: Braga, Espinho, Faro, Gondomar, Guimarães, and Santa Maria da Feira. The mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, declared he would not be interested in "spending millions of euros" to host the contest, but he would support a bid from the Metropolitan Area of Porto (Espinho, Gondomar and Santa Maria da Feira).
On 13 June 2017, RTP representatives met with the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group at the EBU headquarters in Geneva. During the meeting, RTP officials attended a workshop covering several topics related with hosting the Eurovision Song Contest and learned from the experience of the Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC. They also had the opportunity to present their first plans for the 2018 contest, including multiple proposals for host city and venue.
On 25 July 2017, the EBU and RTP announced that Lisbon had been selected as the host city, overcoming confirmed bids from Braga, Gondomar, Guimarães and Santa Maria da Feira. In addition, RTP indicated the Parque das Nações, where MEO Arena is located, as the site for the shows.
|Braga||Braga Exhibition Park||15,000 (after renovation)||Agro-industrial park inaugurated in 1981 and further expanded in 1987 with a 6,500 m2 (70,000 sq ft) exhibition hall able to hold 3,000 people, and in 1990 with a congress centre and auditorium for 1,200 people. Renovation works starting in 2017 and ending in the first trimester of 2018 would increase the exhibition hall capacity to 15,000.|
|Gondomar||Multiusos de Gondomar Coração de Ouro||8,000||Multi-purpose indoor arena inaugurated in 2007, with a total capacity for 8,000 people (4,400 seats). Hosted the 2007 UEFA Futsal Championship final tournament.|
|Guimarães||Multiusos de Guimarães||10,000||Multi-purpose indoor arena inaugurated in 2001, with a total capacity for 10,000 people (3,000 seats) Selected by RTP to host the final of the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, the Festival da Canção, on 4 March 2018.|
|Lisbon||MEO Arena||20,000||Multi-purpose indoor arena inaugurated in 1998, it is the country's largest indoor venue with a total capacity for 20,000 people. Hosted the Expo '98, the 1999 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, the 2000 ATP Finals, the 2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships, the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship, the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards, the UEFA Futsal Cup Final Four (2001–02, 2009–10 and 2014–15), and the 2016 Web Summit.|
|Santa Maria da Feira||Europarque||11,000||Largest convention centre in the Porto Metropolitan Area, inaugurated in 1995. Hosted the European Council of June 2000, the Festival da Canção final in 2001, and the UEFA Euro 2004 final tournament draw. It was the option supported by the Metropolitan Council of Porto.|
Semi-final allocation draw
The draw to determine the allocation of the participating countries into their respective semi-finals will take place on 29 January 2018, . The thirty-seven semi-finalists have been allocated into six pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the contest's official televoting partner Digame. Drawing from different pots helps to reduce the chance of so-called "bloc voting" and increase suspense in the semi-finals.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3|
|Pot 4||Pot 5||Pot 6|
|Waylon||Represented The Netherlands as part of The Common Linnets at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen performing the song "Calm After The Storm". They finished as runner-up to Conchita Wurst.|
|Cesár Sampson||Appeared as a backing vocalist for Bulgaria in the 2016 Contest in Stockholm and again as an off-stage vocalist for Bulgaria the following year in Kiev.|
|Jessica Mauboy||Appeared as a guest performer in the interval act during the second semi-final at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen with her song "Sea of Flags".|
|SuRie||Appeared as a backing singer for the 2015 and 2017 entries for Belgium in Vienna and Kiev respectively.|
|Lea Sirk||Appeared as a backing singer and offstage vocalist for the 2014 and 2016 entries for Slovenia in Copenhagen and Stockholm respectively.|
|Alexander Rybak||Represented his home country of Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow and gave the country its third win with the highest amount of winning points under the old voting system.|
Semi Final 1
|01||Azerbaijan||Aisel||"X My Heart"||English||-||11||94|
|02||Iceland||Ari Ólafsson||"Our Choice"||English||-||19||15|
|04||Belgium||Sennek||"A Matter of Time"||English||-||12||92|
|05||Czech Republic||Mikolas Josef||"Lie to Me"||English||-||3||232|
|06||Lithuania||Ieva Zasimauskaitė||"When We're Old"||English, Lithuanian||-||9||119|
|09||Estonia||Elina Nechayeva||"La forza"||Italian||The Force||5||201|
|11||North Macedonia||Eye Cue||"Lost and Found"||English||-||18||24|
|13||Austria||Cesár Sampson||"Nobody but You"||English||-||4||231|
|14||Greece||Yianna Terzi||"Óneiró mou"||Greek||My Dream||14||81|
Semi Final 2
|01||Ukraine||MÉLOVIN||"Under the Ladder"||English||-||17||130|
|02||Spain||Amaia & Alfred||"Tu canción"||Spanish||Your Song||23||61|
|03||Slovenia||Lea Sirk||"Hvala, ne!"||Slovene, Portuguese||Thanks, no!||22||64|
|04||Lithuania||Ieva Zasimauskaitė||"When We're Old"||English||-||12||181|
|05||Austria||Cesár Sampson||"Nobody but You"||English||-||3||342|
|06||Estonia||Elina Nechayeva||"La forza"||Italian||The Force||8||245|
|07||Norway||Alexander Rybak||"That's How You Write a Song"||English||-||15||144|
|08||Portugal||Cláudia Pascoal||"O jardim"||Portuguese||The Garden||26||39|
|10||Serbia||Sanja Ilić & Balkanika||"Nova deca"||Serbian||New Children||19||113|
|11||Germany||Michael Schulte||"You Let Me Walk Alone"||English||-||4||340|
|14||Czech Republic||Mikolas Josef||"Lie to Me"||English||-||6||281|
|16||Australia||Jessica Mauboy||"We Got Love"||English||-||20||99|
|19||Moldova||DoReDoS||"My Lucky Day"||English||-||10||209|
|20||Sweden||Benjamin Ingrosso||"Dance You Off"||English||-||7||274|
|21||Hungary||AWS||"Viszlát nyár"||Hungarian||Summer, Gone||21||93|
|23||The Netherlands||Waylon||"Outlaw in 'Em"||English||-||18||121|
|25||Cyprus||Eleni Foureira||"Fuego"||English, Spanish||Fire||2||436|
|26||Italy||Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro||"Non mi avete fatto niente"||Italian||You haven't done anything to me||5||308|
Chinese broadcaster censorship
During the Chinese broadcast of the first semi-final on Mango TV, both Albania and Ireland were edited out of the show, along with their snippets in the recap of all 19 entries. Albania was skipped due to a ban on television performers displaying tattoos that took effect in January 2018 while Ireland was censored due to its representation of a homosexual couple on-stage. A spokesperson for the broadcaster's parent company Hunan TV said they "weren't aware" of the edits made to the programme but nonetheless the EBU terminated its contract with Mango TV. Ireland's representative, Ryan O'Shaughnessy told the BBC in an interview, "they haven't taken this lightly and I think it's a move in the right direction, so I'm happy about it."
During the United Kingdom's performance, a protester ran onto the stage and grabbed the microphone from the nation's representative SuRie, which left her shaken. The man was quickly tackled by security and taken away. She was given the opportunity to perform the song again at the end of the show, which she declined.