39 countries have confirmed their participation Eurovision 2018. Among them are Albania and Israel who announced this week their intentions to compete in the Contest in Lisbon in May next year.
Albanian broadcaster RTSH announced this week that the nation will compete at Eurovision 2018, sending the winner of the 56th edition of their song competition Festivali i Kenges. The Albanian selection competition usually takes place in December, just after Christmas. FiK began back in 1962 and in recent years has been used to select the Albanian Eurovision song. The Albanian entry has only qualified for the Eurovision final on one occasion out of their past five attempts, with Elhaida Dani finishing 17th in 2015.
There were some concerns whether or not Israel would have a presence at Eurovision 2018 when the national broadcaster Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA) disbanded in 2017. This week came the welcome announcement that the IBA’s replacement broadcaster Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan) would take on the Israeli Eurovision duties. While this is just a temporary fix as they await on a High Court ruling regarding the future of the broadcaster, Israel’s future at Eurovision is at least guaranteed for next year. In the past three years, Israel have selected their Eurovision artist through their Rising Star talent search. It has not yet been confirmed how they will select their entry for 2018.