‘X Factor’s’ Freddie Combs Wows the Crowd, Vows to Lose Weight
FRIDAY, Sept. 28, 2012 — Three years ago, it seemed the world would never hear Freddie Combs’ voice. But on Thursday’s episode of The X Factor, the 41-year-old wowed millions and the show’s four somewhat picky celebrity judges.
In 2009, Combs, a minister, weighed 920 pounds. After years of struggling with obesity, his lungs began to fail. He was unable to completely breathe out carbon dioxide, and the gas started to build up in his blood. Carbon dioxide poisoning brought him to the hospital, where doctors feared he’d die.
Combs had studied music and received vocal training in college, so when his pulmonologist warned him that his diaphragm was weak, Combs decided to strengthen it the best way he knew: singing. During the three weeks he spent in critical care, he started losing weight.
And he kept it going with exercise, dieting, and support from his wife of 16 years, Kay, to whom he dedicated his winning number last night. In 2011, the couple appeared on two episodes of “Heavily Ever After,” a TLC special that featured the weight-challenged couple. Although Kay assisted him onto the X Factor stage in a wheelchair, at 540 pounds Combs has made major strides.
When Combs finished his tear-jerking rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings,” every judge offered him lavish praise — and a ticket to X Factor Boot Camp.
“My comments for you will not be out of sympathy because of anything that you’ve dealt with. It’s gonna be truly based on your voice, which I think is heavenly,” judge L.A. Reid told Combs. “I don’t think you deserve to be stuck in that chair,” said Simon Cowell, who challenged Combs to work toward standing on stage on his own steam.
“When you almost die, your life changes and you look at living in a whole new manner,” Combs said on the show. He’s on a mission to “give hope to people who are my size, so that they can achieve their dreams.”
PHOTO CREDIT: ©Fox
Freddie Combs, 40, the 540 lb. reality show personality who was featured on Ton of Love in 2010 and Heavily Ever After: The Big Climb in 2011, is after another 15 minutes of fame, as he appeared on last night’s final audition episode of The X Factor, helmed by Simon Cowell and judged by Britney Spears, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid.
The almost exclusively wheelchair-bound Combs, a minister from Tennessee who has lost almost 400 lbs. since his brush with death in 2009, took the stage (with some help from his wife of 16 years, Kay) on The X Factor to sing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” but not before telling his story and getting congratulated for his weight loss by Reid.
The judges were pleased with minister’s strong, melodic voice, and the crowd went wild for the song. Reid called the rendition “heavenly,” Spears said it was “shockingly amazing,” and Combs got passed through.
In other inspiring news, Trevor Moran, 12, the YouTube Apple-store-dancing sensation who was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance at the end of Wednesday night’s episode — we later found out, for dehydration — was allowed to do the performance of “I’m Sexy and I Know It” that he had previously missed.
“I’m not entirely sure that was age appropriate,” said Cowell before going ahead and giving him a yes. “You’ll be remembered for that performance,” he said, and passed Moran through to the next round.
Watch the video of Combs’ performance here:
Get Uinterview’s FREE iPhone App For Daily News Updates here.
For more like this:
VIDEO: YouTube Sensation Trevor Moran Rushed From ‘The X Factor’ In Ambulance
Celebs Show Their ‘Gangnam Style’ With Psy
Demi Lovato And Britney Spears Make Waves On ‘X Factor’
Britney Spears, Demi Lovato Walk Off ‘X Factor’ Set
Britney Spears’ Fiance Jason Trawick ‘Auditions’ For ‘The X Factor’
Uinterview | News: Britney Spears Close To Joining ‘X Factor’ Panel
Britney Spears, Demi Lovato Will Judge ‘The X Factor’
Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones Not Returning To X-Factor
U Blog: The X-Factor — Simon Cowell Thinks We’re All Just Sheep
VIDEO: Contestant Drops Pants At The X Factor Premiere
SPOILERS: ‘X-Factor’ Judges Talk Finale