When it comes to the final of “Our Song for Europe” — Eden Alene’s Eurovision 2021 song selection in Israel — “Ue La La” is in….but the lyrics mon chéri are most definitely out.
As reported by Israel Hayom, ahead of the song’s revamp producers at KAN demanded that the lyrics be re-written after it emerged one of the songwriters — the well-known model and entrepreneur Aline Cohen — may have referenced her own eponymous make-up line in the song.
“Ue La La” lyrics re-written over alleged links to Aline Cohen
As you’ll recall, the song submission process in Israel was totally anonymous this year. As a result, KAN had no way of knowing who the songwriter was behind “Ue La La” — or about any potential conflicts of interest that may relate to them.
Last week, in a series of Instagram posts, Israel Hayom editor Eran Swissa revealed that “Ue La La” was written by 19-year-old model Aline Cohen. Cohen’s growing beauty empire includes “Mon Chéri” — her trademarked lip tint product. The use of the phrase (which means “my darling” in French) stirred controversy. Could the song have been released with the intention of promoting Aline’s lippie?
The EBU rules strictly forbid that. As the rules state: “No messages promoting any organization, institution, political cause or other company, brand, products or services shall be allowed in the shows”.
Since the song is in breach of this rule, specifically the “promoting a brand” part, KAN had no choice but to either disqualify the song or have Aline change its lyrics.
But darlings: this wasn’t just about my darling. The lyrics also featured jargon frequently used in commercials for Aline Cohen’s eponymous make-up line. The repeated phrase “be be be” could be seen to allude to Be Cosmetics, a partner chain that sells Aline’s popular cosmetics. The song also talks about lips in the Hebrew verse. Pucker up, y’all!
Israeli Eurovision site EuroMix has subsequently confirmed that Aline Cohen wrote the song. They previously suggested that the lyrics of “Ue La La” would have to be changed, which is exactly what happened.
At the time of publication of this post, Aline Cohen’s team have not responded to our queries regarding the matter.
Besides cutting down potential brand references, the revamp of the song also added an additional minute of time! That’s the exact opposite of what happens in, say, Albania, where songs in the national final sometimes run for five minutes. In a social media exchange, KAN appears to have referred to the song’s lengthening as an “Albanization vice-versa”.
Revamp of “Ue La La”
What version do you like more? Should “Ue La La” have been disqualified? Let us know in the comments below!