This year, the Swiss public broadcasters decided to organise a big national final again after internally selecting their entry for five years in a row. The whole procedure started with a web-based selection where singers and songwriters from all over the world could upload their videoclips. More than 300 songs were received, and a combined vote of the website visitors and a professional jury picked seven finalists out of the submissions: Andrina, Anna Rossinelli, Bernarda Brunovic, CH, Polly Duster, Sarah Burgess and The Glue.
Five more songs were selected by the public radio channels DRS, RSI and RTS. The German-language broadcaster DRS also conducted a web-based selection taking into account both the votes of an expert jury and the radio listeners, and in the end Dominique Borriello, Duke and Ilira & The Colors got the ticket to Kreuzlingen. Just before the national final, Duke had to look for a new duet partner, as his initial choice, Eveline Suter, had different obligations. So, instead, he will team up with Nyna Cantieni tonight.
One more song was picked by the Italian language radio channel RSI - Rete Uno. During a special radio show, five potential entries were presented to the public. At first, the song Surrender by Orpheline had been chosen to go to the final, but she withdrew for personal reasons. Orpheline had initially been replaced by the runner-up, Vittoria Hyde with Play The Trumpet, but she had to be disqualified as her song, which was already released in spring, broke the rules of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. Thus, another runner-up got a chance to represent her country in Düsseldorf: Scilla Siekmann!
The last participant to be announced was the representative of the French-language radio broadcaster RTS. Here, Aliose was internally selected by the decision of an expert jury. She will sing a ballad in French language tonight.
In tonight's show, the twelve entries will be performed live in front of a big audience for the first time. Each act will be evaluated by an expert panel, but in the end, it will be up to the TV public to pick a winner - the decision is taken solely by televoting. The expert panel consists of Baschi, Nik Hartmann, Francine Jordi, Pepe Lienhard and Peter Reber. Out of those five celebrities, three have already represented Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest before: Francine Jordi came 22nd in 2002 with Dans Le Jardin De Mon Ame, while Pepe Lienhard and his band came 6th in 1977 with Swiss Lady. Peter Reber represented his home country no less than four times as a part of the trio Peter, Sue and Marc, and their most successful entry Io Senza Te (4th place in 1981) is still remembered as a true Eurovision classic both on home ground and internationally!
This is the line-up for the Swiss national final, in order of appearance:
Polly Duster - Up To You
Duke - Waiting For Ya
Andrina - Drop Of Drizzle
Bernarda Brunovic - Confidence
Anna Rossinelli - In Love For A While
Aliose - Sur Les Pavés
Dominique Borriello - Il Ritmo Dentro Di Noi
Scilla - Barbie Doll
CH - Gib Nid Uf
Ilira and the Colors - Home
Sarah Burgess - Just Me
The Glue - Come What May
The show will be broadcast on SF1, TSR2 and RSI - La 2, live from the Bodensee Arena in Kreuzlingen, which is situated right on the border with Germany, the host country of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. The show starts at 20:05 CET and takes until 22:30. Meanwhile, you can listen to all the songs here.