In a recent interview with the Associated Press carried by several news sites worldwide, Filipina singing sensation Rose Fostanes, a finalist on “The X-Factor Israel”, admits that she misses her family and girlfriend in the Philippines.
Yes, girlfriend. That’s not a typo. The 47-year-old caregiver is a lesbian and among her biggest supporters in Israel, where she has been caring for an elderly woman for the last six years, are members of the Filipino LGBT community there.
A Facebook page called “That’s My Tomboy of Israel” with over 16,000 likes has been repeatedly posting instructions on how to vote for Fostanes since she passed the auditions and made it to the second round of the competition last November.
Given that “That’s My Tomboy Israel” has more likes than Fostanes’ own “X-Factor” created page that currently has a “mere” 13,000 likes by comparison, it appears that her LGBT fans may have in fact contributed heavily to her making the Top 4.
Described in the AP report as “the newest star of Israeli reality television” who is now “mobbed by fans wherever she goes”, Fostanes has a very good chance of winning the finale of the vote-dependent singing contest next week as she can count on the support of the numerous OFWs in Israel.
The same AP report estimates that there are over 40,000 Filipinos residing in the country while The Philippine embassy in Tel Aviv has a more conservative estimate of 31,000.
Fostanes was among the four finalists voted by the audience at the end of Tuesday’s episode. As the last contestant standing from the over-25 group, she will compete with Eden Ben Zaken (girls category), Uri Shakiv (Boys category), and Fushion (group category) in next week’s finale.
“Sometimes I am telling myself, ‘Is it true that it happened to me?’ At least I can express and show the people that I have also talents and it’s not too late for me to shine,” the middle-aged warbler was quoted as saying.
Fostanes’ Cinderella story recalls the similar feat achieved by Scottish singer Susan Boyle, who was also 47 when she became the darling of “Britain’s Got Talent”, a reality competition program in the United Kingdom also created by Simon Cowell, the former “American Idol” judge who also started “The X-Factor” franchise.
There have been 42 different versions of “The X-Factor” aired in just as many countries and territories around the world since the first season of the original UK series aired in 2004.
The ongoing first season of the Israeli franchise debuted only last year and whoever wins next week will be its very first champion.