Filipina Migrant Worker Wins Israeli X-Factor

Forty-seven-year-old Rose Fostanes is now a national phenomenon, after winning Israel's most popular reality TV show.

The Associated Press
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Rose Fostanes, the Filipino migrant worker who has taken the country by storm, won the first season of Israel's reality TV series "X Factor" on Tuesday night.

The 47-year old woman, who has been living and working in Israel as a caregiver for 6 years, has become a national phenomenon, putting a human face on the thousands of foreign workers who toil away in menial jobs.

Fostanes spends her days caring and cleaning for an ailing woman in her 50s. To save money, she lives in a crowded apartment in south Tel Aviv, with seven other people. She is one of about 40,000 Filipinos who work in caregiving jobs in Israel.

Several months ago, a friend encouraged Fostanes to audition for the “X-Factor,” a popular show hosted by Israeli super-model Bar Refaeli. At just 1.50 meters tall, Fostanes has captured her audiences’ hearts with a surprisingly strong and soulful voice, belting out such hits as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Lady Gaga’s “You and I.”

Rose Fontanes, winner of Israeli X-FactorCredit: David Bachar