Lisbon 2018

Lisbon 2018

Welcome to Lisbon
Meet the Participants

Meet the Hosts

With the historic victory of Salvador Sobral’s “Amar Pelos Dois” last year in Kviv, Portugal has ended its nearly fifty-year struggle to secure its first win, achieving a record breaking 758 points in the Grand Final after achieving both first in the public vote and the televote. The song was also the first winner in ten years to be sung in a language other than English, with Marija Šerifović’s “Molitva” having won for Serbia in 2007.

Given the once-in-a-lifetime occasion, Portugal chose to host the contest one of the world’s oldest major cities and its capital, Lisbon, center of Portuguese cultural and boasting millennia of rich, storied history. The visual theme of the contest focused on Portugal’s coastal territory and the slogan, “All Aboard!”, continued on with the previous year’s themes of togetherness and forward-thinking abstract diplomacy. 

All countries from Kviv 2017 returned to compete in Lisbon, with Russia returning after being banned due to political tensions amid the War in Donbass and the Russian occupation of Crimea. All other previous participants and viable potential countries neither returned nor debuted. Despite previous Turkish representatives being hopeful for their nation’s return, the Turkish government and broadcaster continue to refuse to return. 

During the contest, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV cut showing the Albania and Ireland performances in their run of the show, the former for having performers with visible tattoos and the latter for featuring a gay couple, during the first semi-final. Due to the rules of the contest demanding all entries be shown in full, regardless of whether or not the nation is competing or not, the European Broadcasting Union ultimately banned Mango TV from broadcasting the second semi-final and grand final.

This was the last year that the contest was broadcast live on television In the United States, with Logo TV not renewing the rights to air the grand final the following year. The contest was also aired on radio for the first time in the United States this year, with the Massachusetts-based WJFD 97.3 FM broadcasting both Portuguese and English commentary.