Guri Schanke Ven A Bailar Conmigo
"Ven a bailar conmigo" ("Come dance with me") was the Norwegian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, performed in English and Spanish by Guri Schanke.
The song is a Latin-inspired number. Schanke sings about how much she loves to dance and urges her unnamed listener (in Spanish) to "Come dance with me". BBC commentary during the Contest explained that Schanke had participated in a reality-television show with a dancing theme, thus explaining the lyrics.
The song was written and composed by Thomas G:son, who also contributed the Spanish entry at the same Contest - "I Love You Mi Vida". This represents one of a very small number of Contests where the same writer has represented two countries at once.
Guri Schanke won the Norwegian semi final in Melodi Grand Prix 2007 on January 27, and "Ven a bailar conmigo" soon became a hit on Gay bars in Oslo, to which her response was "Fantastic! I love it!". Schanke performed the song in the Norwegian national final (February 10, 2007), in the English language, however the title of the song is in Spanish and means "Come Dance With Me". It scored shared 2nd place by the judges, but was a runaway winner by the televiewers, receiving almost 95 000 televotes.
Guri Schanke and dancers performing "Ven a bailar conmigo" at the Norwegian national final
The Norwegian entry's stage performance bore several similarities to that of "Tango! Tango!", another Latino song by Thomas G:son, performed by Petra Nielsen in Swedish Melodifestivalen 2004.
Both Petra Nielsen and Guri Schanke are experienced performers of musical theatre.
Both very short dresses were designed by drag artists. Nielsens dress was designed by Lars-Åke Wilhelmsson aka Babsan and Cårejonny Enderud, a former member of the Great Garlic Girls, was hired by NRK to design Guri Schanke's costume for her Melodi Grand Prix performance.
Both performances featured a woman dancing with two men dressed in black. Both women are lifted high up in the air at one point in the performance.
Guri Schanke has not yet released a single, but the song entered as number 1 on the Norwegian radio program Norsktoppen (on radio since 1973), a weekly ranking of national pop songs based on a jury and the listener's suggestions.
A music critic in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen, wrote about Guri Schanke that her performance "glows like a black hole", and that Norway's contribution to the Eurovision is among the worst contributions in this year's upcoming contest. He gave his only top score of this year's contestants to the Swedish The Ark with "The Worrying Kind".
A new electronic press kit from NRK contains four remixes. The main remix is made by Hallgeir Rustan, (from the original Stargate production team,) with extra guitar play by Jarl Ivar Andresen. Another mix is the "DeepFrost Mix" by the Norwegian DeepFrost team (Thomas J. Heyerdahl, Vegard Strand, Jan "Janski" Lindvaag and Rune Helmersen.) A third mix, the "East Remix", is made by Andreas Rickstrand (he is G:son's co-composer of Spain's contribution to the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, "I Love You Mi Vida"). The press kit also contains the karaoke version.
In late February 2007, it became known that "Ven a bailar conmigo" was to be recorded by Swedish artist Anna Book, for her album Samba Sambero, which was released on March 14, 2007. This was two months before Schanke was to perform the song at the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki. Anna Book was one of the contestants in Melodifestivalen 2007 with the song "Samba Sambero", also written by Thomas G:son. Guri Schanke said, in a webchat with the Norwegian newspaper VG before this was known, that the song was specially written for her, and that it was written on a request from NRK to Thomas G:son. Schanke's manager, Viggo Lund, said he was surprised to hear about the album release. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) has the rights for the songs that are part of Melodi Grand Prix, and the first right to use them. The EBU and NRK started investigations on the case. The Melodi Grand Prix project leader for NRK said in a statement to VG, that "We have to look at this positively, and hope the song gets popular in Sweden."