The Pinoy factor in reality TV competitions

Ira Agting
Rose Fostanes, a caregiver working in Israel, is the newest international Pinoy singing sensation

X FACTOR. Filipino caregiver Rose Fostanes has taken Israel by storm. Screen grab from Youtube (Miggi Lucman)

MANILA, Philippines – A Fiilipino caregiver has captivated audiences in the first season of reality singing show X Factor Israel, adding to the growing list of Pinoy achievers in the international entertainment, reported the Associated Press.

47-year-old Rose Fostanes secured a place in the top 4 of the competition after her renditions of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and Lady Gaga’s “You and I” made her an instant star.

Fostanes’ performances were lauded by the judges, particularly by Israeli singer Shiri Maimon, who doubles as her mentor. She described “Beautiful,” which earned Fostanes a standing ovation, “moving and more than perfect.”

Fostanes, who has been working overseas for almost 20 years, said she hopes winning the competition will change her life.

Watch her audition here:

The Pinoy factor

Now in the top 4 of the competition, Fostanes is now among a number of Filipinos who have shown exceptional musical talent in reality singing competitions. 

Other bright stars in the X Factor franchise are Ellona Santiago who placed 6th in the US version and Rafael Aguilar who made waves in X Factor Bulgaria in 2011.

American Idol, since its start in 2002, has also placed Pinoy talent in the spotlight, most notably in Season 11 where Filipino-Mexican Jessica Sanchez placed 2nd next to Phillip Phillips.

The show’s 3rd season featured two contestants with Filipino lineage. Fil-Am Jasmine Trias placed 3rd, while Camille Velasco was part of the top 9 contestants. In Season 7, Ramielle Malubay placed 9th.

While many other Filipinos dazzled in the American Idol’s auditions, one Pinoy went viral for singing an original composition. Renaldo Lapuz may not have gotten through to the next round, but he certainly left a mark in Idol audition history with “I Am Your Brother.”

Watch his memorable audition here

In Britain’s Got Talent 2013, 11-year-old Arisxandra Libantino earned praise from the judges, even Simon Cowell, who told her that she was proof that talent goes beyond age. The young Filipina made it to the finals and placed 8th.

Filipino-American group The Filharmonic are currently part of NBC’s a capella singing competition The Sing Off. While still early in the battle, the 6 boys have already dazzled viewers and the judges with their 90s-inspired performances.

2013 big wins

Jonathan Yabut, a young marketing executive from Manila, shot to fame late July after winning The Apprentice Asia, the first Asian adaptation of the reality TV franchise.

Yabut was one of two Filipino contestants in the competition, where 12 professionals from all over Asia battled to conquer the world’s “toughest job interview.” Filipino contestant Celina le Neindre, a food and beverage consultant, made it until week 7.

In December, Deankie Latonio and Tiara Sison, a Filipino duo from Cebu, recently won reality interior design competition The Apartment, where contestants were tasked to design apartments with time and budget constraints. The two fresh graduates beat 8 other pairs from US, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Malaysia, and Singapore. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.