The final is almost here and the final results will soon be known! Tonight, the first 50% of the vote is set to be decided via the jury, with the grand final jury show set to take place this evening at the Altice Arena in Lisbon. The jury is sitting and waiting to see tonight’s performances, with their votes to be decided ahead of tomorrow evening’s live show!
Last night saw all of the 26 finalists decided for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, following the conclusion of the second semi-final in which the final 10 qualifiers were determined. The final running order was soon decided by the EBU and released last night; now it’s time to determine the first half of the votes.
This evening, the jury members from all of the 43 competing countries will decide their votes for tonight’s final, whose votes will then be added to those of the public vote tomorrow evening. The country which receives the highest number of votes will be crowned the winner and will (probably) host next year’s competition. Who will be the jury’s favourite act?
The same opening video and that from the 2 semi-finals shows features in the jury show tonight and will feature again tomorrow night.
Ana Moura opens tonight’s show with a song in the traditional fado-style in Portugal, followed by a performance by Mariza. The flags then enter the arena together with the artists, who are called out one after another to music by Beatbombers.
Ukraine opens tonight’s jury final with Melovin and his entry Under the ladder. Melovin starts his performance strong tonight, leaving the piano in his usual style and keeping with the usual theme of his performance. Melovin brings all the drama needed to the arena tonight, with flames well and truly taking over the stage tonight. A couple a notes were a bit shaky from the Ukrainian performer tonight, however it’s nothing that should greatly shake the results. A nice opening song for the grand final.
Performing in the dreaded second position in the Spanish duo, Alfred & Amaia, who will compete with their entry Tu cancion. Phone lights fill up the arena tonight from the audience, adding to the beauty of the performance-style from the Spanish act. The duo have a strong connection throughout the performance, due to their relationship, which adds to the Spanish show tonight. It’s a sweet performance from Spain tonight, with nice vocals throughout, however the entry may get lost amongst other entries due to its running order position and potentially will not stand out enough to create discussion from viewers.
Next up is Slovenia’s Lea Sirk, competing with her up-tempo dance track Hvala, ne!. The audience truly get into the performance from the very start, which can be heard on television, adding to the Slovenian performance tonight. As with the semi-final performance, the music stops mid-song to make it look like a technical issue, with the performance soon continuing once the audience get involved. For semi-final viewers this wont be as much of a shock-moment, however many viewers will be watching for the first time tomorrow evening so this may be a stand out moment on the night. Vocally, Lea was solid as always.
Ieva of Lithuania takes to the stage tonight with her song When we’re old. Since their first Eurovision performance on Tuesday, Lithuania has been climbing in the betting odds, currently sitting in 6th position at the time of writing. Lights also open the Lithuanian performance, opening the song nicely for the entry. The same images from the semi-final performance appear onstage alongside the singer throughout, telling the message of the song. Ieva was even stronger vocally tonight than from the semi-final performance, which could fare well for Lithuania with the jury vote. The public may also like the message of the song and be drawn to the staging.
Cesar is next onstage tonight, representing Austria in Lisbon with his entry Nobody but you. Cesar takes to the stage with his usual confidence, which is seen throughout the whole of the Austrian performance tonight. Vocally, Cesar’s voice is solid and consistent throughout and works well with his backing vocalists. But as with Spain, this may not stand out enough to cause a scene amongst viewers on the night and may once again get lost. The jury may appreciate this performance more.
Estonia takes to the stage next tonight with Elina Nechayeva and her entry La forza. Do we really need to comment on Estonia’s vocal range? Once again, Elina commands attention to the stage once again with her powerful voice, with the effects on her flowing gown completely adding to the performance. Since her semi-final performance, we have seen a drop in Estonia’s betting odd position. However this could potentially do very well with the jury tonight.
Since his semi-final 2 performance, Alexander Rybak’s entry has been dropping in the betting odds; from 2nd in the odds earlier this week down to 8th currently, how will Norway fare in tonight’s show? Norway is onstage next with the entry That’s how you write a song. The usual energetic Rybak we all know takes to the stage, whose personally really is the stand out of the performance together with the clever instrument graphics throughout. There seemed to be one or two camera problems during Norway’s performance, however nothing that would majorly affect the performance. A consistent performance from Norway tonight.
The host country, Portugal, is up next for their jury show performance with Claudia Pascoal and her entry O jardim. Claudia opens the performance tonight on her own with beautifully chilling vocals, with cheers from across the arena being heard on television. Isaura joins Claudia onstage mid-performance, adding to the beauty of the song. It’s a simplistic performance from Portugal this year, but perhaps a little bit to simplistic to have a major impact with the public. Again, the jury may appreciate this a lot more.
A break follows the first 8 performances, with more interviews in the greenroom taking place with both Slovenia and Estonia.
09 United Kingdom
The United Kingdom takes to the stage next tonight with SuRie, who will compete with her entry Storm. SuRie is alone onstage with the diamond-lighting feature appearing around the singer centre-stage. SuRie started her performance strong vocally, with a couple of seemingly incorrect camera shots which shouldn’t affect the result. Towards the final part of the song with the bigger note, SuRie potentially struggled a little more than what we’ve seen recently, but generally a good performance. This could potentially become lost with some big numbers and performance to come.
Serbia follows the UK in tonight’s running order, with Balkanika and Sanja set to compete with Nova deca. Vocally, it’s almost an identical performance to that from their second semi-final performance, perhaps slightly more polished since their initial live performance. Ethno-Balkan entries of this style tend to do fairly well at Eurovision, and may do better than fans originally predicted.
Michael Schulte of Germany is up next to perform onstage tonight with her heart-touching entry You let me walk alone. It’s a beautifully layout onstage for the German performance, with the graphics really showing and telling the story behind Michael’s emotional entry. Michael even looks emotional towards the end of the performance, which will touch viewers at home on the night. This is another entry which has risen in the betting odds since its viewing last night and may do extremely well tomorrow night.
Eugent Bushpepa of Albania performs onstage next tonight with his entry Mall. Eugent really knows how to hit those big high notes during his performance, with tonight being no different. It’s impressive to hear Eugent’s vocals on the night, with all notes being hit just about perfectly. Whether the big notes are being hit a little bit too often for the public’s liking, we’ll have to see, however it’s difficult to argue with the Albanian singer’s vocal ability.
Next up and closing the first half of the final are the French duo, Madame Monsieur, with their entry Mercy. It’s a simplistic performance from the French duo as usual, with both band members wearing black with red elements from each artist. Vocally the duo are strong together, with the audience really getting behind the duo in the arena. Madame Monsieur get the audience involved once again, using their traditional hand-motions to show audience participation. It’s a good close to the first half of the show.
14 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic opens the second half of the final with the song Lie to me, performed by Mikolas Josef. Mikolas really knows how to get a crowd going with his performance style, really bringing the energy up across the arena and getting the audience up and dancing. Mikolas is a general performer, whose modern, commercially feel could appeal to the jury, but more so to the public.
Rasmussen has taken to the stage next for his performance for Denmark, competing with his entry Higher ground. Again, it’s another powerful performance from the Viking crew onstage tonight, with Rasmussen asking the audience and Europe as a whole to join in with their walk. Vocally the whole band is very strong, as usual, very much the same as what we have seen previously. The high energy of Higher ground is strong moment in Lisbon.
Jessica Mauboy is next onstage tonight for Australia, with the singer competing onstage with her entry We got love. The singer starts her performance strong, dancing and getting the audience moving and singer with her throughout. Towards the latter part of the performance, where the singer pushes herself to hit the bigger notes, Jessica misses the note which sounds off on the night, the same with a few of the smaller notes too.
Another break takes place in the greenroom with the host talking to the Serbian group and the Austrian singer. This is followed by a memorial piece to Lys Assia, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Saara Aalto is next onstage this evening with her entry Monsters, representing Finland. It’s a fun performance once again from the Finnish performer this evening, with the dancers and backing vocalists sounding even better tonight with Saara onstage. Saara hits the big notes towards the latter part of the performance in her usual style, with no major flaws this evening. The public will enjoy this, but will it appeal to the jury?
Next up is Equinox onstage for their jury show performance, competing with their entry Bones. A powerful piece from Bulgaria this year, with staging with really makes a scene along with the outfit choices of the singers. Zhana is vocally flawless in tonight’s jury show, beautifully hitting that final note towards the end of the song. The group have great chemistry onstage, with the jury sure to like this tonight.
DoReDos is next to performance in Lisbon tonight with their entry for Moldova, My lucky day. It’s yet another funny, humorous performance from the Moldovan trio this evening which really gets the audience excited for the performance. DoReDos do not have the strongest vocals in the competition, however they are some of the best performers at the competition this year, which really tells a story in a likable way. The jury may not like this as much as the audience tomorrow evening.
A small break follows tonight’s nineteenth performance, ahead of Sweden’s performance, where the host enters the audience to talk to members of the crowd.
Benjamin Ingrosso is ready to perform onstage next tonight for Sweden, representing his country with his entry Dance you off. With potentially one of the most appealing staging layouts this year, Benjamin takes to the stage alone to perform his entry. His backing vocalists can be heard in the background, however Benjamin is at the forefront throughout. The choreography works extremely well with the lighting itself, with hand movements activating certain actions. It’s a commercial song which has been a past criteria for the jury to judge from; if this is still the case, the jury members could like this a lot.
Up next tonight is AWS from Hungary competing with their entry Viszlat nyar this evening. Bring on the rock-metal! Hungary’s performance really sets the arena alight this evening, with flames and lighting flashing throughout the entire performance. The genre of music doesn’t appeal to everyone, admittedly, however it’s different style together with its stand out performance could fare well. It’s difficult to tell how both the jury and public with rate this as a whole, however the press centre was impressed with today’s performance.
Netta, who is currently 2nd in the betting odds for Israel, is next onstage tonight with her entry Toy. Netta sounded vocally much better during tonight’s jury show, with the focus a lot more on the vocal performance tonight. That doesn’t affect Netta’s energy, however, with the singer still using her usual facial expressions and sass throughout. It is a very fun performance from Israel tonight which will definitely appeal to both the public and jury, but it’s a matter of how much it will appeal in comparison to some of the other strong entries on the night. Israel performing towards the end of the show may go in her favour.
Returning artist Waylon is next onstage tonight for the Netherlands, performing his entry Outlaw in ‘em. Waylon knows how to perform to an audience, as can be seen in tonight’s show, with the singer bringing the attitude from the song to the stage and arena. The dancers add to the energy of the song, but whether the message comes across from the dancers in another matter. The Netherlands’ performance is good, it’s solid, but it between 2 betting odd favourites which could go against the country tomorrow evening.
Next up and continuing to rise in the betting odds is Ireland, with Ryan O’Shaughnessy competing with his entry Together. Currently Ireland is sitting in 3rd position in the betting odds, perhaps to the surprise of Eurovision fans across the continent. However, Ireland’s performance has really appealed to the public since its initial television appearance. Ryan takes to the stage alone with his soft but steady voice, soon joined by the 2 male dancers onstage, receiving yet another huge audience reaction from the arena. The story of the entry and the performance has really grabbed the public over the past number of days, and is sure to do the same with the jury tonight. Is Ireland the dark horse of the whole competition?
Moving on to the current favourite to win the competition: Eleni Foureira is onstage representing Cyprus next with her entry Fuego. Yeah yeah fire, Eleni is onstage bringing the heat to the arena tonight! Eleni is a true performance, with her experience onstage in the past coming through in her Eurovision performances. Vocally, again, Eleni isn’t the strongest, but the performance as a package is enough for the Cypriot act this year. The singer is still number 1 in the betting odds so far, with Cyprus’s first victory looking more and more likely following every performance.
Closing tonight’s jury show is Italy’s Ermal and Fabrizio, who are competing with their entry Non mi avete fatto niente. Italy’s powerful song really takes scene from the very start, with lyrics appearing on screen almost instantly as soon as the performance begins. The message of the entry really comes across on screen and will connect with viewers across the continent with the recent terror attacks and wars taking place. The song’s message of not being afraid comes across well on television, with the jury set to like this tonight. Italy could be another surprise which many haven’t predicted so far. It’s the perfect end to the contest.
Voting is now open (well, kinda of)! Viewers are now shown a video of the recap together with the voting numbers. The interval act follows, featuring a duet with Branko and Sara Tavares (Portugal 1994), featuring rap and alternative electro-pop elements. Branko remains onstage whilst Sara leaves, soon joined by Mayra Andrade followed by Dino D’Santiago.
A video follows talking about the history of Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest, featuring a comedy section with Suzy who later joins the stage.
The hosts present a clip of last year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest entry, with the winner (Russia) joining the stage to answer some questions about the competition.
Next up is Salvador Sobral, who appears onstage for the first time in a very long time following his recent withdrawal from the world of media and performing. He performs together with the Brazilian artist, Caetano Veloso, both of whom sing Salvador’s winning Eurovision entry, Amar pelos dois.
Countries from the jury countries begin their “mock” votes, with the countries voting in the following order:
- San Marino
- The Netherlands
- FYR Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
Note that the voting running order may be different tomorrow evening.
Mock results are in!
Once combined with the public vote, the “mock” votes of the final voting was a follows:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom