Tel Aviv, Israel – On Tuesday night, Rose Fostanes, a Filipina caregiver working in Tel Aviv, was named winner in the first-ever X Factor Israel, the local version of the popular reality TV singing competiton originated by Simon Cowell in Great Britain. She won the most number of viewer votes in the finals, besting three other contestants. Fostanes was the only non Israeli.
But just minutes after the telecast, producers of the show stripped Fostanes of the winner’s title, citing widespread nationwide protests. Producers said their television network was deluged with angry calls insisting that a foreigner should not be declared winner of what was obviously a contest for Israeli nationals. “There is a reason the show is called X Factor Israel, ” the protesters complained, “in the same way as other shows are called American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent.”
While producers acknowledged that talent-wise, Fostanes truly deserved the title, they understood the sentiments of the complaining viewers. They said they wished her well and are confident that if she joined X Factor Philippines in her home country, she would handily win the title.
Fostanes’ winning song was Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”