| Country Contest 12|
|Semi-final 1 date||13 February 2018|
|Semi-final 2 date||15 February 2018|
|Final date||17 February 2018|
|Host broadcaster||KA, РТРК, C31|
|Number of entries||48|
|Debuting countries|| Libya|
|Returning countries|| Albania|
|Withdrawing countries|| Algeria|
|Voting system||Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favorite countries.|
The Country Contest 12 will be the twelveth edition of the contest. The edition marked the first since the fifth edition to feature no guest countries, given Brazil's placement outside of the top 6 last edition. It also marked a major format change in the competition, allowing a wider range of countries to qualify to the final.
For the first time in the competition's history, 3 Kazakh broadcasters co-operated in the production of the shows, which were KA, РТРК and C31.
The contest is the highest amount of participants for a regular contest with no associate member countries participating. The contest will consist of 2 semi-finals with 21 participants each; the highest amount in a semi-final.
Semi-final 1 Edit
France, Italy and Monaco also voted here. The top nine overall countries qualified to the Grand Final. The tenth and eleventh qualifiers were respectively determined by the highest placed televote and jury qualifier which did not place in the top 8 overall.
|Split jury/televote results|
Semi-final 2 Edit
Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Portugal also voted here. The top nine overall countries qualified to the Grand Final. The tenth and eleventh qualifiers were respectively determined by the highest placed televote and jury qualifier which did not place in the top 8 overall.
|Split jury/televote results|
The 22 qualifiers from the semi-finals, as well as the top 6 of previous edition took part; all participating countries in the edition voted. As this edition was the first since the fifth to not feature guest countries, the CCU introduced an international vote featuring non-European countries; its weight was the same of a single country; as a result, 49 countries voted.
|Split jury/televote results|
New jury/televote format Edit
On November 28, 2017, the CCU announced that due to complaints from many broadcasters and controversy from previous edition, that they would enact a new format change allowing both countries that are liked by televote but not by juries and vice versa to qualify.
Unlike previous editions, the top 8 countries of each semi-final would directly qualify to the final. The two remaining would be determined by the highest placing televote and jury qualifier that did not qualify overall; however, as usual, these particular countries's semi-final placement would not be revealed until after the edition's end.
World Country Contest Edit
After the success of the 10th edition, the CCU stated that they were considering some potential options to allow all broadcasters "an equal chance to participate." However, announcement of these plans had been delayed for months. In the meantime, more broadcasters which hadn't participated in the tenth edition stated that they would be interested in joining as well.
The CCU announced on 24 December 2017 that they would be creating respective contests for Africa, Asia-Pacific and America. Alongside with Europe, the top-five placing countries of each contest would then participate in the World Country Contest where 20 countries consisting of 4 continents would compete to be crowned the World Country. This country would subsequently host the following World Country Contest.
This idea was then praised by many broadcasters who confirmed they'd participate in it.
This would allow the Asian-Pacfic contest to have up to 60 countries, 54 for Africa, 35 for America and around 50 for Europe. In the end, the World Country Contest would allow all 200 countries from the respective countries to vote for an objectified result and winner. As usual, there would be televoting and jury voting from all voting countries with no boundaries to who they can vote for. This would allow a maximum of 23200 to be distributed between 20 countries, which if equally would result in 1160.
These changes nonetheless would mean that Country Contest would turn into European Country Contest. However, the CCU stated that such plans would not be implemented until after the twelfth contest would end, meaning that the 13th contest would decide the European candidate. Additionally, countries such as Russia which are widely located in Asia would relocate to its respective continental contest.
National selections (Tú decides) Edit
RTVE introduced the first Country Contest national selection, Tú decides, where 28 Spanish cities battled to represent Spain in the contest. The contest featured four semi-finals with 7 cities in each, where 2 cities would progress to the final and 2 to second chance. Four duels took place in the second chance, with the 4 winners also progressing to the final of 12 cities. Unlike the five previous shows, which consisted of 100% Spanish televoting, the final consisted of 50% of it and the other 50% decided by international juries from 10 participating countries. The CCU confirmed they had been contacted by several broadcasters regarding setting up a selection for their own country.
Ex-Kamu Birliği members Edit
On 24 January 2018, following the disbandment of Kamu Birliği, the CCU announced that all of the countries (except Turkey which withdrew) would be given their spot back in the Union. However, as a sanction for their involvement, they were disallowed to participate in any CCU contest for three editions "to avoid another drastic protest from happening in the future." Notably, Azerbaijan, which participated in all 11 editions, would no longer be a country which participated in all editions.
Other countries Edit
Due to the new CCU rules, many countries decided to return, and in the case of Jordan and Libya, debut. However, 11 member countries of the Union still decided to not take part for various reasons.
Unlike previous editions, the CCU introduced a rule edition requiring all 75 active members to write a statement regarding participation of this edition. This is because of the new rules introduced to make the contest fair. Additionally, this was done due to the rapidly decreasing number of participants. Member broadcasters which did not comment would be fined.
On January 1, 2018, the CCU announced a new rule enforcing all Members to participate at least once every ten editions, given the Union's purpose as a [Country Contest] Union.
Active CCU members Edit
- Algeria: ENTV announced that Algeria would withdraw due to poor results and lack of general interest in the country.
- Azerbaijan: İTV announced that Azerbaijan would withdraw from the contest, due to its third qualification in a row, and "often bias of jury vote against Turkey and Azerbaijan."
- Belgium: VRT/RTBF announced in a joint statement that they would return to the contest should Germany and Luxembourg "place high on the scoreboard" in the twelfth contest.
- Egypt: ERTU announced its withdrawal on December 24, 2017, citing lack of interest.
- Kosovo: Due to the fact that host country Kazakhstan does not recognize Kosovo, RTK was unable to confirm its interest.
- Liechtenstein: 1FLTV announced that Liechtenstein would not return to the contest due to lack of funding from the government.
- Lithuania: LRT stated that due to financial issues, Lithuania would not return to the contest.
- Montenegro: RTCG announced that Montenegro would not return for the 12th edition, but confirmed its participation for the 13th edition.
- Netherlands: AVROTROS announced in a joint statement that they would return to the contest should Germany and Luxembourg "place high on the scoreboard" in the twelfth contest.
- Turkey: TRT announced that after four consecuctive participations and win, Turkey would withdraw from the competition due to the "50% jury-televote system" and "jury bias".
- Vatican City: VR announced that Vatican City would not return due to the the contest not suiting the broadcaster's new programmings.