If the name Rose Fostanes rings a bell, that’s because she was X Factor Israel’’s grand champion in 2014.
Born and raised in Taguig, Rose or Osang who worked as caregiver in the so-called Land of Canaan won the hearts of Israeli judges with her distinct interpretation of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
It wasn’t an easy road to victory, though. Taking time off her work, Rose was No. 1150 when she showed up during the auditions where her rendition of Shirley Bassey’s “This Is My Life” merited a standing ovation from all four judges as well as a thunderous applause from the audience.
Based in Tel Aviv, the Israeli capital, the 46-year-old Filipina took pride in her work to be able to fend for her family.
Asked why she still remained single at her age, “I’ve devoted my time to my family that I forgot about looking for someone in life.”
Preparing for the second round of the competition, Rose—for a change—did Lady Gaga’s “You And I.” Despite the judges’ repeated and consistent words of admiration, however, Rose simply wouldn’t acknowledge she was a good singer.
She then made it to the Top 12, and on finale night, did a singer-judge a duet.
Osang recalled, “While all the other contestants who made it to the finals spent their time rehearsing their respective pieces, I was at immigration applying for renewal of my work permit. Had I not taken care of it, by contest proper it would have expired. All my efforts would have gone to waste if I was disqualified.”
Winning the music competition franchise brought back a lot of memories for Rose.
“I started joining amateur singing contests [in the Philippines]at a young age. I already had this built,” showing us her excess poundage. And then I’m short too so I experienced being shouted at, ‘You’re so fat! Piggy! Get down from that stage!’”
Despite the cruel invectives, the “kontesera” promised herself she would never go home a loser.
“With God’s mercy, I always won. Since my father left us, I gavet he money I’d get for my prize to my mother to buy food, and for school allowance.”
Back to present day, shortly after her Israeli victory, Rose resigned from work and opted to come home with the hopes of building a singing career here.
“I signed a contract with a recording company here but nothing happened. Maybe, as I said, because of how I look—not beautiful, I lack height, and I’m fat.”
Over the week, Rose topbilled a show titled The Voices along with Angel Bonilla, a transgender who placed runner-up in X Factor USA, and singing heartthrob Michael Pangilinan at the Zirkoh comedy bar.
Produced by colleagues Roldan Castro and John Fontanilla, the show was mounted to send an important message to record producers and show promoters to take one more serious look at Rose and be mesmerized by her world-class talent.
Sadly, Rose’s turn, where she was to sing her X Factor Israel winning piece “My Way,” was sequenced towards the end of the show. But even before she could begin the song, at least one half of the audience seated in front stood and hurried towards the exit door.
But an unperturbed Rose remained on stage. She managed to finish the song as she did before an awestruck Israeli audience, far from the unappreciative crowd at the Zirkoh.
She did it her way nonetheless.