42 countries for Eurovision 2018: Russia returns, FYR Macedonia out

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Grab your flags and get ready to party: 42 countries will jump aboard the Eurovision Song Contest train this year, as the EBU has confirmed the final list for the 2018 contest. As expected — but never confirmed until now — Russia will return after missing Kyiv.

Unfortunately, it’s bad news for fans of FYR Macedonia. The broadcaster’s debt problems with the EBU will result in the country missing out on the trip to Lisbon. And no: It’s unlikely fans will be able to crowdfund the broadcaster’s debt away.

Eurovision 2018: Participating Countries

The 42 countries participating at Eurovision 2018 are:

Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, host nation Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

This also brings the definite confirmation that Moldova will be in Lisbon. After their third place success with Sunstroke Project, will they be able to top that in Portugal?

Russia returns

One interesting note on Russia’s return is that Channel One is listed as the Russian broadcaster. Usually, Channel One and VGTRK alternate the role — similar to Belgium. Channel One, however, was meant to be the broadcaster for 2017.

This switch may be due to the “penalty” imposed on Russia for their late withdrawal from the 2017 contest. If it was financial, VGTRK may have been unwilling to cough up the money for Channel One’s decision.

Whatever the case, it may be good news for Julia Samoylova. Whilst she says she’s still waiting to hear from either broadcaster, Channel One did select Julia for 2017. Could that mean she’s a lock for the 2018 position?

Insignia Ceremony and Allocation Draw in January

One of the next big dates in the calendar will be on January 29. That day will see the “handing over” ceremony between Kyiv and Lisbon, as the Eurovision insignia key is passed on.

The Semi-Final allocation draw will follow. Then we’ll see which of the 36 semi-final countries will perform on either the Tuesday or Thursday night for a place in the grand final!

Are you excited to see Russia and Moldova confirmed for 2018? Are you sad to see FYR Macedonia out? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!

Read more Eurovision 2018 news here