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Filipina carer wins Israel's 'X-Factor'

Rose Fostanes, the only foreign contestant on the X-Factor, emigrated to Israel six years ago to work as a carer for the sick and elderly

Published: Updated:

A 47-year-old Filipina carer has won the televised talent show X-Factor Israel, shooting to fame with her winning rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

Rose Fostanes, the only foreign contestant on the X-Factor, emigrated to Israel six years ago to work as a carer for the sick and elderly, before winning the competition late on Tuesday night.

Fostanes's powerful, soulful singing voice quickly made her an audience favourite from her first audition for the show, which was hosted by four celebrity judges and filmed in studios in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Local media sang Fostanes's praises, saying she had put the spotlight on Israel's low-paid migrant workers, among them tens of thousands of Filipinos who work as carers or in menial jobs.

Fostanes lives in a crowded apartment in an area inhabited mostly by foreign workers in Tel Aviv, and is saving money to support her family and girlfriend back home, press reports said.

Her victory came just days after African asylum seekers held mass demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, protesting against the Israeli government's immigration policy.

Last month, Israel's parliament approved a law which allows illegal immigrants to be detained for up to a year without trial in the latest of a series of measures aimed at cracking down on immigration.

The rightwing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped up moves to expel them, saying they pose a threat to the state's Jewish character.