Filipina caregiver wins ‘X-Factor Israel’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A 47-year-old Filipina caregiver won the “X-Factor Israel” reality show.

Rose Fostanes belted out the Frank Sinatra standard “My Way” accompanied by the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra to beat out two individual contestants and a boy band in the finals, which aired Tuesday night in Israel.

Fostanes, known in Israel simply as “Rose,” has been working as a caregiver in Tel Aviv for the past six years and lives in a small apartment there with seven other Filipinos. She has been working abroad since she was 23 to send money to her family and partner. Prior to arriving in Israel, Fostanes worked in Egypt and Lebanon. She has not been home to see her family in two years.

Her sister, Nancy, told a newspaper in the Philippines that Rose was 15 years old when their father left the family, and Rose was left to raise her two sisters. Prior to the finals show, Fostanes was reunited with Nancy and longtime girlfriend Mel.

During the finals, Fostanes also sang a duet with her “X-Factor” mentor Shiri Maimon, an Israeli pop singer who was the first runner-up in the inaugural season of “Kochav Nolad,” the Israeli equivalent of “American Idol.”

During the three-month run of the show, Fostanes has performed the Kelly Clarkson song “Because of You,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Lady Gaga’s “You and I” and Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.”

She thanked all her voters, especially in the Filipino community.

Fostanes has said she that she hopes her appearance on “X-Factor Israel” would raise awareness of Israel’s foreign workers, including about 20,000 Filipinos who mostly work long hours as caregivers for low pay.

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