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Eurovision Song Contest 2018

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Eurovision Song Contest 2018
All Aboard!
Eurovision Song Contest 2018 logo.png
Dates
Semi-final 1 8 May 2018 (2018-05-08)
Semi-final 2 10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)
Final 12 May 2018 (2018-05-12)
Host
Venue Altice Arena, Lisbon, Portugal
Presenter(s) Filomena Cautela
Sílvia Alberto
Daniela Ruah
Catarina Furtado
Executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand
Host broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP)
Participants
Number of entries 43
Debuting countries None
Returning countries  Russia
Withdrawing countries None
Vote
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.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will be the 63rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It will take place for the first time in Portugal following the country's first victory at the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine with the song "Amar pelos dois", performed by Salvador Sobral. The contest will be held at the Altice Arena in Lisbon and will consist of two semi-finals on 8 and 10 May and a final on 12 May 2018.[1] The three live shows will be hosted by Filomena Cautela, Sílvia Alberto, Daniela Ruah and Catarina Furtado.

Forty-three countries will participate in the contest, equalling the record of the 2008 and 2011 editions. Russia will return after their absence from the previous edition, and for the first time since 2011, no country will be withdrawing from the contest.

Location

Venue

The venue of the contest, Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal

The contest will take 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.[2] Following a bidding phase, Altice Arena in Lisbon was selected as the contest 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.[3] It is located in the heart of the modern Parque das Nações riverside district in the northeast of Lisbon, which hosted the Expo '98. It is connected by metro to the nearby international airport and by train (Oriente Station) to the rest of the country and Europe.[4]

Bidding phase and host selection

Locations of the host city (blue) and remaining candidate cities (red)

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.[5] 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.[2] 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 (later renamed Altice Arena) in Lisbon as a likely venue to host the contest.[6] On 15 May 2017, RTP appeared to have confirmed Lisbon as the host city,[7][8] but clarified the following day that no final decision had been taken regarding both the host city and venue.[9]

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:[10]

  • 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 signalled their interest in bidding to host the 2018 contest: Braga, Espinho, Faro, Gondomar, Guimarães, and Santa Maria da Feira.[11][12][13] The mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, declared he would not be interested in "spending millions of euros" to host the contest,[9] but he would support a bid from the Metropolitan Area of Porto (Espinho, Gondomar and Santa Maria da Feira).[12]

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.[14]

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.[15] In addition, RTP indicated the Parque das Nações, where Altice Arena is located, as the site for the shows.[16]

Key:  dagger   Host venue

City Venue Capacity Notes
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.[17] Renovation works starting in 2017 and ending in the first trimester of 2018 would increase the exhibition hall capacity to 15,000.[18]
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).[19] Hosted the 2007 UEFA Futsal Championship final tournament.[20]
Guimarães Multiusos de Guimarães 10,000 Multi-purpose indoor arena inaugurated in 2001, with a total capacity for 10,000 people (3,000 seats).[21] 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.[22]
Lisbon[6] Altice Arena dagger 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,[23] the 1999 FIBA Under-19 World Championship,[24] the 2000 ATP Finals,[25] the 2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships,[26] the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship,[27] the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards,[28] the UEFA Futsal Cup Final Four (2001–02, 2009–10[29] and 2014–15[30]), and the 2016 Web Summit.[31]
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.[12]

Format

Visual design

The theme for the contest, All Aboard!, was unveiled on 7 November 2017 in a press conference held at the Lisbon Oceanarium.[32] Its visual design features oceanic motifs that allude to Lisbon and Portugal's location on the Atlantic coast and to the country's seafaring history. Alongside the main emblem, which depicts a stylised seashell, twelve supplemental emblems were designed to symbolise different aspects of a marine ecosystem. The contest's Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand remarked that the theme and logos "resonate with Lisbon’s history and underscore Eurovision's core values, including diversity, very well. The Ocean connects all of us and its variety can provide good inspiration for each of the (...) participating broadcasters that we look forward to seeing in Lisbon next May."[33]

Presenters

On 8 January 2018, RTP and EBU announced that the contest would be hosted for the first time by four female presenters, consisting of RTP hosts Sílvia Alberto, Filomena Cautela and Catarina Furtado, together with actress Daniela Ruah.[34] It will be the first time since 2013 that the contest does not feature a male presenter, and the second consecutive year that the presenters are all the same gender.[35][34]

Semi-final allocation draw

The draw to determine in which semi-final each country will participate is scheduled for 29 January 2018, 13:00 CET, at Lisbon's City Hall. The thirty-seven semi-finalists had 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. The ceremony will be hosted by contest presenters Sílvia Alberto and Filomena Cautela, and will include the passing of a Eurovision insignia from Vitali Klitschko, the Mayor of Kiev (host city of the previous contest), to Fernando Medina, the Mayor of Lisbon.[36]

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Pot 5 Pot 6

Participating countries

The EBU announced on 7 November 2017 that forty-two countries would participate in the contest. Russia confirmed their return after withdrawing from the previous edition, while Macedonia's participation was provisionally blocked by the EBU due to unpaid debts by its national broadcaster.[33][37] However, ten days later, the EBU announced that Macedonia would be allowed to enter the contest, raising the number of participating countries to forty-three, the highest since the 2008 and 2011 editions.[38]

Returning artists

Semi-finalists

Country [38] Artist Song Language(s)
 Albania Eugent Bushpepa[41] "Mall"[41] Albanian[42]
 Armenia TBD 24 February 2018[43][44] TBD 24 February 2018[43][44]
 Australia Jessica Mauboy[45][46]
 Austria Cesár Sampson[47] "Nobody but You"[48]
 Azerbaijan Aisel[49] TBD March 2018[50]
 Belarus TBD 16 February 2018[51] TBD 16 February 2018[51]
 Belgium Laura Groeseneken[52] English[53]
 Bulgaria TBD 12 March 2018[54] TBD 12 March 2018[54] English[55][56]
 Croatia
 Cyprus TBD January 2018[57] TBD January 2018[58]
 Czech Republic TBD 29 January 2018[59] TBD 29 January 2018[59] English[60]
 Denmark TBD 10 February 2018[61] TBD 10 February 2018[61]
 Estonia TBD 3 March 2018[62] TBD 3 March 2018[62]
 Finland Saara Aalto[63] TBD 3 March 2018[64]
 Georgia Iriao[65]
 Greece TBD 16 February 2018[66] TBD 16 February 2018[67] Greek[68]
 Hungary TBD 24 February 2018[69] TBD 24 February 2018[69]
 Iceland TBD 3 March 2018[70] TBD 3 March 2018[70]
 Ireland
 Israel TBD 13 February 2018 TBD March 2018
 Latvia TBD 24 February 2018[71][72] TBD 24 February 2018[71][73]
 Lithuania TBD 11 March 2018[74] TBD 11 March 2018[74]
 Macedonia
 Malta TBD 3 February 2018[75][76] TBD 3 February 2018[75][76] English[75][76]
 Moldova TBD 24 February 2018[77] TBD 24 February 2018[77]
 Montenegro TBD 17 February 2018[78] TBD 17 February 2018[78] Montenegrin[79]
 Netherlands Waylon[80] TBD 10 March 2018[81]
 Norway TBD 10 March 2018[82] TBD 10 March 2018[82]
 Poland TBD 3 March 2018[83] TBD 3 March 2018[83]
 Romania TBD 25 February 2018[84] TBD 25 February 2018[84]
 Russia
 San Marino TBD 27 February 2018[85]
 Serbia TBD February 2018[86] TBD February 2018[86] Serbian[87][88]
 Slovenia TBD 24 February 2018[89] TBD 24 February 2018[89] Slovene1
 Sweden TBD 10 March 2018[90] TBD 10 March 2018[90]
  Switzerland TBD 4 February 2018[91][92] TBD 4 February 2018[91][92] English[93]
 Ukraine TBD 24 February 2018[94] TBD 24 February 2018[94]

Finalists

Country [38] Artist Song Language(s)
 France TBD 27 January 2018[95] TBD 27 January 2018[95] French2
 Germany TBD 22 February 2018[96] TBD 22 February 2018[96]
 Italy TBD 10 February 2018[97] TBD 10 February 2018[97] Italian3
 Portugal TBD 4 March 2018[98] TBD 4 March 2018[98]
 Spain TBD 29 January 2018[99] TBD 29 January 2018[99] Spanish[100]
 United Kingdom TBD 7 February 2018[101] TBD 7 February 2018[101]
1. ^ All entries have to be performed in Slovene in the semifinal of EMA 2018, but the language restriction is lifted for the final.[102]
2. ^ The French broadcaster stated that they will consider songs that are performed in at least 70% French.[103] This means that the entry may contain multiple languages besides French, and in recent years, songs have been a mixture of both French and English lyrics.
3. ^ All entries in the Sanremo Music Festival 2018 will be performed in Italian, although it is currently unknown whether or not the song will be partially (or fully) translated to English, like in the 2016 contest.[104]

Other countries

Eligibility for participation in the Eurovision Song Contest requires a national broadcaster with active EBU membership,[105] or a special invitation from the EBU as in the case of Australia. Several countries have provisionally confirmed their participation in the contest, while information from the remaining members regarding their participation has not yet been disclosed.

Active EBU members

  •  Andorra – The Director General of Ràdio i Televisió d'Andorra (RTVA) announced on 14 May 2017 that Andorra would not participate in the contest, due to financial difficulties and the restructuring of the company.[106]
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina – On 18 September 2017, BHRT confirmed that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not return to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018.[107]
  •  Luxembourg – Steve Schmit, the Director of Programming at the Luxembourgish broadcaster (RTL) explained last year the reasons against participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. He also underlined that Luxembourg’s chance for success in the contest is limited, "I believe that (with) the enlargement of Eurovision, the days (of victory) are gone. With the new voting system, it is very unlikely that Luxembourg is successful. Small countries are somewhat more troubled now". Luxembourg last participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993.[108]
  •  Monaco – On 31 August 2017, Monegasque broadcaster TMC confirmed that Monaco would not participate in the 2018 contest.[109]
  •  Slovakia – Eríka Rusnáková, press spokesperson of the Slovak broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), confirmed on 11 September 2017 to Czech Eurovision website Eurocontest.cz that the country would not participate in the 2018 contest.[110]
  •  Turkey – On 12 July 2017, Sertab Erener, who won for Turkey in 2003, announced on an Instagram live chat that Turkey would return and wished luck to the next representative.[111] maNga, the 2010 Turkish representatives[112] and Hadise, the 2009 Turkish Representative, also expressed their interests for Turkey returning to the contest. Despite these statements, on 7 August 2017, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Bekir Bozdağ, issued a statement saying that there were no plans for a return.[113] The same day, TRT confirmed their non-participation in the 2018 contest.[114]

Associate EBU members

  •  KazakhstanKhabar Agency became an associate member of the EBU on 1 January 2016, opening up the possibility of future participation.[115] They broadcast all the shows in 2017. Furthermore, the winner of the Turkvision Song Contest 2014, Zhanar Dugalova, said she would be interested in representing Kazakhstan in the contest.[116] However, on 25 September, Khabar Agency told Esctoday that: "We have no information about Kazakshtan’s participation in Eurovison 2018 yet", maintaining the possibility of the country being invited by the EBU, as it is entirely at the EBU’s discretion to extend an invitation like in the case of Australia.[117] The EBU however, chose not to invite Kazakhstan, as seen in the list of participants.[118] On 22 December 2017, it was claimed that Channel 31 had finalised negotiations with the EBU, allowing Kazakhstan to debut in 2019[119], however, on 23 December 2017 the EBU told Esctoday that: "Channel 31 Kazakhstan has indeed expressed interest in becoming a Member of the EBU and hence participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. However, since Channel 31 is outside the European Broadcasting Area and is also not a member of the Council of Europe, it is not eligible to become an active Member of the EBU".[120]

Non-EBU members

  •  Kosovo – Kosovar media reported that RTK was hopeful that they would debut in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal. In an article published by RTK the Director of Television at the Kosovar broadcaster stated that he had received the support of national broadcasters across the Balkans to participate in the competition. However, both Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia had opposed such participation.[121] The EBU then sent a letter to RTK explaining that Kosovo cannot participate in the ESC, because it is not a UN member and it is not a fully recognised state.[122]
  •  Liechtenstein – On 1 September 2017, 1 FL TV, the national broadcaster of the Principality of Liechtenstein confirmed that the country will not debut at the upcoming Eurovision edition in Lisbon.[123] However on 4 November 2017, 1 FL TV announced that they are planning a debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019.[124]

Commentators and spokespersons

Spokespersons

Commentators

Most countries will send commentators to Lisbon or comment from their own country, in order to add insight to the participants and, if necessary, the provision of voting information.

Non-participating countries

See also

Notes and references

References

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