Eurovision 2018 is just around the corner in Lisbon, after Salvador Sobral gave Portugal its first-ever victory at Eurovision 2017. There’s a lot of organising to do from both the host country and all the competing countries.
Where is the contest being held and what countries will be participating in Eurovision 2018? Here’s all the information you need!
Where is Eurovision 2018 being held?
The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP). The contest will be held at Altice Arena, alongside the Tagus River in Lisbon.
When will Eurovision 2018 be held?
The semi-finals will be held on 8 and 10 May 2018, while the grand final of Eurovision 2018 will be held on 12 May 2018. These dates have been locked in, so you can go ahead and book your flights and accommodation!
Who are the hosts of Eurovision 2018?
Eurovision 2018 will be hosted by Portuguese television presenters Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Catarina Furtado and Portuguese-American actress and NCIS: Los Angeles star Daniela Ruah.
What is the logo and slogan of Eurovision 2018?
The branding for Eurovision 2018 has a nautical theme. The main logo is a seashell, but 12 additional sea-themed icons will also be used as part of the branding.
The slogan for Eurovision 2018 is “All aboard!”. It’s intended to represent the openness and welcoming spirit of the song contest.
Which countries are doing Eurovision 2018?
43 countries have been officially confirmed for Eurovision 2018. Russia is returning to the contest after withdrawing in 2017.
After 1 September 2018, broadcasters may reveal their selected songs or national final contenders. Fourteen of this year’s competing countries selected their songs behind closed doors in an internal selection. The remainder gave the public, and often an international jury, a say in the selection.
Albania – Eugent Bushpepa “Mall”
Albania again selected their act via the long-running song competition Festivali i Këngës. The winner was rock singer Eugent Bushpepa with his self-written song “Mall” (Yearning). The song is a high-impact rock ballad about the longing Eugent experienced after performing abroad for several months.
Armenia – Sevak Khanagyan “Qami”
Armenia again used their national final Depi Evratesil, but this time with original songs. The winner was X-Factor Ukraine winner Sevak Khanagyan and his song “Qami”. The powerful ballad is the first 100% Armenian-language Eurovision entry.
Australia – Jessica Mauboy “We Got Love”
As well as being part of the inaugural Eurovision Asia Song Contest, Australia has also been invited back to participate in Eurovision 2018. Broadcaster SBS has internally selected Jessica Mauboy, who previously performed as an interval act in 2014. Her song “We Got Love” is a mid-tempo pop song inspired by various female empowerment movements sweeping the globe.
Austria – Cesár Sampson “Nobody But You”
The broadcaster ORF has internally selected Cesar Sampson, who has previously performed at Eurovision as a backing artist for Bulgaria. His song “Nobody But You” is among the most contemporary of the year, combining his smooth vocals with a striking gospel choir.
Read the “Nobody But You” lyrics
Azerbaijan – Aisel “X My Heart”
Broadcaster Ictimai has internally selected the bluesy singer Aisel. Working with famous Greek composer Dimitris Kontopoulos (“Shady Lady”, “You Are The Only One”), she created a series of demos across a number of genres. She then put a shortlist to the public involving more than 300 people in 31 countries. None of them knew the songs were for Eurovision. She ultimately decided on “X My Heart”. Days after the song’s release — and a somewhat muted response — she and her team revamped the song to give it more of an electro production (owing to a suggestion from “City Lights” producer Tim Bran).
Belarus – Alekseev “Forever”
Belarus will be represented by the Ukraine pop star Alekseev with “Forever”. As the winner of Belarus’ national final, “Forever” is about love as the most powerful feeling in the world. His staging at the national final featured a very expensive light-me-up body suit. So we expect plenty of technical wonder in Lisbon.
Belgium – Sennek “A Matter of Time”
Flemish broadcaster VRT is organising Belgium’s entry this year. The broadcaster internally selected pop/soul/electronic singer Laura Groeseneken who will perform as Sennek. “A Matter of Time” — her song for Lisbon — has drawn comparisons to “Rise Like a Phoenix” and the Sheryl Crow Bond anthem “Tomorrow Never Dies”.
Read the “A Matter of Time” lyrics
Bulgaria – Equinox “Bones”
Bulgaria’s broadcaster BNT is again using internal selection to choose their act. From an open selection they pieced together a five-person supergroup called Equinox, which is made up of the Bulgarian artists Zhana Bergendorff, Georgi Simeonov and Vlado Mihailov, and the American singers Johnny Manuel and Trey Campbell. They will be singing the soulful pop song “Bones”.
Croatia – Franka Batelic “Crazy”
Broadcaster HRT has internally selected Franka Batelic. She will sing “Crazy” — a jazzy, sultry ballad, which she says has a mystical and mysterious sound. Franka says “Crazy” is about a love that hits you like thunder and doesn’t seem to let go. Expect the mystery to continue to the Lisbon stage.
Cyprus – Eleni Foureira “Fuego”
After initially planning to use a national final, Cyprus broadcaster CyBC instead internally selected the Greek diva Eleni Fourieria. She will sing “Fuego”, written by Greek-Swedish hitmaker Alex P. Serving up major sex appeal and sass, expect Eleni to bring the heat to Lisbon.
Czech Republic – Mikolas Josef “Lie to Me”
Broadcaster Czech Television used an online national final to choose its act for Lisbon. From six acts, former model Mikolas Josef won with his song “Lie To Me”. The song features an R’n’B sound, with Mikolas spitting some serious bars. Wood bamboos are at the ready.
Read the “Lie to Me” lyrics
Denmark – Rasmussen “Higher Ground”
Broadcaster DR again used its national final Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. The winner was Jonas Rasmussen — best known just as Rasmussen — with his Viking saga “Higher Ground”. With this year’s Eurovision stage being shaped like a ship, Rasmussen will feel right at home on the Altice Arena stage in Lisbon.
Estonia – Elina Nechayeva “La Forza”
Broadcaster ERR used the national final Eesti Laul to determine Elina Nechayeva as the overall winner with “La Forza”. The song, which is sung entirely in Italian, is a fusion of pop and opera. Expect Elina to deliver some flawless vocals and a stirring performance on the night.
Read the “La Forza” lyrics
Finland – Saara Aalto “Monsters”
Finnish broadcaster YLE has internally selected UMK 2016 runner-up and X Factor UK 2016 runner-up Saara Aalto for a complete Saara-fest for the Finnish national final UMK. Saara performed three songs, with the public and jury choosing the anthemic banger “Monsters” as the song Saara will take to Lisbon.
Read the “Monsters” lyrics
France – Madame Monsieur “Mercy”
Broadcaster France 2 introduced a new national final, Destination Eurovision. The televote winner and overall winner was the duo Madame Monsieur, with their song “Mercy”, which throws the spotlight on the global migrant crisis. The duo dedicate the song to the humanitarian volunteers who work with migrants.
Read the “Mercy” lyrics
Georgia – Iriao “Sheni gulistvis”
The jazz/ethno-folk group Iriao has been internally selected by broadcaster GPB. The group includes members Levan Abshilava, Shalva Gelekva, George Abashidze, Mikheil Javakhishvili and Bidzina Murgulia. Their song “Sheni gulistvis” (For you) is a true combination of jazz, classic, polyphony and different complimentary melodies.
Germany – Michael Schulte “You Let Me Walk Alone”
Gemany used their reformulated national final, Unser Lied fur Lissabon. From six finalists, the winner was Michael Schulte and his emotional ballad “You Let Me Walk Alone”. The song is a tribute to his dad who passed away 13 years ago. Expect some powerful vocals and pulled heartstrings during his performance.
Greece – Gianna Terzi “Óneiró mou”
Despite plans for a national final, Greek broadcaster ERT has internally selected Gianna Terzi. She will perform “Óneiró mou” (My dream) entirely in Greek. A mid-tempo ballad with ethnic Greek elements and a polyphonic chorus, “Óneiró mou” combines both a traditional orchestral sound with modern production.
Hungary – AWS “Viszlát nyár”
Hungary again used its successful national final A Dal. From 30 competing acts, the winner was the five-piece post-hardcore band AWS and their song “Viszlát nyár” (Goodbye summer). The song was inspired by the death of lead singer Örs Siklósi‘s father, with the lyrics depicting the struggle and thoughts of a dying man, along with Örs himself trying to process this loss.
Read the “Viszlát nyár” lyrics
Iceland – Ari Ólafsson “Our Choice”
RUV again selected their entry via the long-running national final Söngvakeppnin. Nineteen year old Ari Ólafsson took out the winner’s spot with his song “Our Choice”, an English-language ballad about love, tolerance and bearing the message of a united and unprejudiced world.
Read the “Our Choice” lyrics
Ireland – Ryan O’Shaughnessy “Together”
Irish broadcaster RTÉ internally selected their song from a public song submission. The selected artist is Britain’s Got Talent star Ryan O’Shaughnessy with the song, “Together”. The song is a bitter-sweet ballad, with Ryan singing about a former lover. He wonders why he’s been left, after the two told each other they’d be “together ‘til we die”.
Israel – Netta Barzilai “Toy”
Netta Barzilai was selected as Israel’s act for Lisbon after winning the talent show Rising Star. She will perform “Toy”, an electro-pop song all about the awakening of female power and social justice, wrapped in a colourful, happy vibe. Netta has been given the OK to use her iconic vocal loop pedal in Lisbon.
Italy – Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro “Non mi avete fatto niente”
Italy will be represented by Sanremo veterans Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro. The Sanremo 2018 winners will perform their winning entry “Non mi avete fatto niente” (You did nothing to me). The duo encourage the need for unity in their soft-rock track, in reference to recent wars and terrorist attacks across the world, including cities Barcelona, Cairo, London, Nice and Paris.
Latvia – Laura Rizzotto “Funny Girl”
Brazilian-Latvian singer Laura Rizzotto won the national final Supernova 2018, delivering a memorable and sultry performance. She will perform her song “Funny Girl”, a song about falling in love, despite reservations. Expect a jazzy take on a bittersweet yet seductive love song.
Read the “Funny Girl” lyrics
Lithuania – Ieva Zasimauskaite “When We’re Old”
Broadcaster LRT again used their epic national final “Eurovizijos” dainu konkurso nacionaline atranka to find their entrant for Lisbon. Lithuania will be represented by Ieva Zasimauskaite with the song “When We’re Old” – a softly sung ballad about everlasting love. Ieva says that she thinks about her husband when she sings her song.
FYR Macedonia – Eye Cue “Lost and Found”
FYR Macedonia and broadcaster MRT internally selected the duo Eye Cue, made up of vocalists Bojan Trajkovski and Marija Ivanovska. They will perform “Lost and Found”, a song that very unconventionally fuses reggae and EDM. The song details a deep and unconditional love, diving into the world of the unknown and experiencing the magic of true and powerful love.
Malta – Christabelle “Taboo”
Malta again used its national selection, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. 16 finalists competed at the grand final. The winner was MESC regular Christabelle and her song “Taboo”, a timely pop song about compassion towards those, and removing the stigma attached with, mental illness.
Moldova – DoReDos “My Lucky Day”
Moldova again used the national final O melodie pentru Europa. The winner was vocal trio DoReDos and their song “My Lucky Day”, written by Eurovision veteran Philipp Kirkorov. “My Lucky Day” is a high-energy, ethnic pop dance track about falling in love with a mysterious tempter/temptress.
Montenegro – Vanja Radovanovic “Inje”
Montenegro will be represented by Vanja Radovanovic, the winner of the revived Montevizija. After missing out on the chance to represent Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, he will sing the song “Inje” in Lisbon. The song is a deep, smooth and emotional Balkan ballad and bittersweet story of love.
The Netherlands – Waylon “Outlaw in ‘Em”
Broadcaster AVROTROS has internally selected the country singer Waylon to again represent The Netherlands, after representing the country in 2014. He will perform the country-rock song “Outlaw in ‘Em”. The song is about human tenacity and strength, revealing an edgier and rockier side to the country singer. With an uptempo sound, “Outlaw in ‘Em” features substantial electric guitar riffs.
Norway – Alexander Rybak “That’s How You Write A Song”
Broadcaster NRK used the national final Melodi Grand Prix to determine that Alexander Rybak will represent Norway with “That’s How You Write a Song”. The 2009 winner of Eurovision will make his return to the contest in Lisbon with a fun and catchy tune that instructs the listener just how to write the perfect song. His iconic violin also makes a return.
Poland – Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer “Light Me Up”
The Polish national final Krajowe Eliminacje 2018 was won by the combination of Polish electronic music producer and Swedish vocalist Gromee and Lukas Meijer with “Light Me Up”. An electronic dance track with a strong beat drop, “Light Me Up” is a modern take on a love track.
Portugal – Cláudia Pascoal “O Jardim”
The host broadcaster RTB used their long-running national final Festival da Canção to crown Cláudia Pascoal the winner with the song, “O Jardim”, written by Portugese singer Isaura. The ballad blends a traditional Portuguese sound and language with a modern beat, with a message about love and loss.
Romania – The Humans “Goodbye”
From an epic Selectia Nationala involving five semi-finals, Romania selected retro rock band The Humans. They will perform their song “Goodbye” in Lisbon – an emotional ballad with a familiar 1980s rock sound. The band hope to convey a message of hope to all those who battle depression and negative thoughts.
Read the “Goodbye” lyrics
Russia – Julia Samoylova “I Won’t Break”
Russia’s cancelled representative of 2017 Julia Samoylova has been given another shot. She will sing the aptly titled song “I Won’t Break”. The electro-tinged power ballad is clearly influenced by Julia’s well-documented struggles with her health, and is a testament to her perseverance both personally and professionally.
Read the “I Won’t Break” lyrics
San Marino – Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening “Who We Are”
San Marino’s inaugural online selection process 1 in 360 determined that Maltese singer Jessika would sing the pop ballad “Who We Are”, featuring a rap interlude from fellow 1 in 360 entrant Jenifer Brening from Germany. Jessika is no stranger to Eurovision, having entered Malta’s national selection every year from 2009 to 2016. “Who We Are” is a song about strength and tenacity, with an important anti-bullying message.
Serbia – Sanja Ilic & Balkanika “Nova deca”
RTS returned to their traditional national final Beovizija to select their entry for Lisbon. The winner was Sanja Ilic & Balkanika with their song “Nova deca” (New children). The song combines traditional Balkan music with modern beats, in a song about how relationships changes a person’s world, as well as making the world a better place.
Slovenia – Lea Sirk “Hvala, ne!”
Broadcaster RTVSLO again used their national final EMA for their selection. The winner was long-time EMA entrant Lea Sirk and her song “Hvala, ne!” (No, thanks!). The song is a catchy bounce track, and an anthem of defiance against the pressures of modern life. Polite but firm, expect some sassy delivery from Lea on the Lisbon stage.
Read the “Hvala, ne!” lyrics
Spain – Alfred & Amaia “Tu canción”
Spain will be represented by Operación Triunfo contestants Alfred & Amaia, who won the OT Eurovision Gala. They will perform the song “Tu canción”, a beautifully composed ballad about blossoming love, and that feeling of dancing for the first time. In a matter of life imitating art, singers Alfred and Amaia became a couple during the national selection process.
Read the “Tu canción” lyrics
Sweden – Benjamin Ingrosso “Dance You Off”
Swedish broadcaster SVT again used the successful national selection Melodifestivalen for their entry for Eurovision. The ultra suave Benjamin Ingrosso dominated the competition with his entry “Dance You Off”. Benjamin delivers some serious falsetto tones throughout the modern pop track, singing about ‘dancing off’ troubled love.
Switzerland – Zibbz “Stones”
Switzerland used the revamped national final ESC 2018 – Entscheidungsshow. Six competing acts performed in the grand final, with sibling duo Zibbz winning with their song “Stones”. “Stones” offers a taste of edgy indie pop, with Zibbz singing about learning from the past and embracing themselves. The duo later revamped their song for Eurovision, strengthening their original sound.
Read the “Stones” lyrics
Ukraine – Mélovin “Under the Ladder”
Ukaine again used their national final Vidbir. The field consisted of some returning artists, with Tayanna and Mélovin returning from last year and among the hot favourites. Mélovin edged out Tayanna with his song “Under the Ladder”. “Under the Ladder” shows off his unique stage presence as Mélovin turns a pop song into a dramatic performance.
United Kingdom – SuRie “Storm”
The UK again used the national final Eurovision: You Decide, with Måns Zelmerlöw co-hosting the final. From six competing acts, the competition was won by two-time Belgian backing vocalist SuRie and her song “Storm”. SuRie will be a backing vocalist no more and upped the stakes by later revamping her entry. “Storm” is about getting through tough times and coming out to a brighter future — storms don’t last forever.
Which countries aren’t doing Eurovision 2018?
Every year fans are hopeful that these countries will make a return or debut, but sadly these countries won’t be appearing at Eurovision 2018.
- Andorra: RTVA has confirmed that Andorra will not return to Eurovision, due to financial reasons.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: While the country’s television licence collection issues have been resolved, broadcaster BHRT has told fan media that finances are still an issue and it is “not realistic” for Bosnia and Herzegovina to return in 2018.
- Kazakhstan: Like Australia, the Central Asian country’s national broadcaster is only an associate member of the EBU so would need to be specifically invited to compete in Eurovision.
- Kosovo: While local media is hopeful for a debut, the EBU has confirmed that as RTK is not currently a member of the EBU, Kosovo is ineligible to enter Eurovision.
- Liechtenstein: While the broadcaster has expressed interest in participating, it is not currently a member of the EBU and therefore unable to participate in Eurovision.
- Luxembourg: Despite an active local fan community, broadcaster RTL has confirmed that Luxembourg will not return to Eurovision due to the usual reasons of budget and size.
- Monaco: Last seen at Eurovision in 2006, the tiny principality has confirmed they will not return to Eurovision 2018.
- Morocco: While broadcaster SNRT has not commented on any potential participation, the North African country has only participated at Eurovision once, 37 years ago. Their return is extremely unlikely.
- Slovakia: Broadcaster RTVS has confirmed to fan media that Slovakia will not return to Eurovision in 2018.
- Turkey: The annual glimmer of hope for a Turkish return came and went. Broadcaster TRT confirmed that Turkey will not make a comeback in Lisbon, due to financial reasons and the broadcaster’s continued dissatisfaction with the voting system.