It was the final night for “X Factor” USA auditions and on September 27, 2012 we were introduced to Freddie Combs, a 41-year-old minister from Greeneville, TN who made the world sit up and take notice with his angelic voice. Despite his outward appearance.
Freddie Combs’ is confined to a wheel chair and it took six stage hands to roll his 540 pound frame up the ramp to his wife, Kay, who was waiting on the “X Factor” stage. As Kay rolled him out to audition, the judges were shocked by his appearance. The audience averted their eyes and mouths stood agape. That all soon changed as Freddie Combs shared his inspirational story.
In 2009 Freddie Combs weighed 920 pounds and almost died. He was bedridden and depended entirely upon his wife for the most basic of needs. But through exercise and proper diet Combs’ lost almost 400 pounds. The admiration from the audience grew when Freddie Combs dedicated his “X Factor” audition performance of “Wind Beneath My Wings” to his loving wife of 16 years.
And then Freddie Combs sang.
Once again mouths were agape. This time however they were agape in awe of a magnificent voice. When Combs had finished his “X Factor” audition, the crowd jumped to their feet in a standing ovation and many eyes were wet with tears and I’m not embarrassed to say that mine were wet as well.
“X Factor” judge L.A. Reid started the commentary stating, “My comments for you will not be out of sympathy because of anything that you have dealt with. It’s going to be purely based on your voice which I think is heavenly.”
Britney Spears and Demi Lovato praised Freddie Combs as well. It was then Simon Cowell’s turn.
“Ah, Freddie you know what? When I heard you sing I had a vision in my mind of you standing singing that song, healthy, happy and maybe you need some inspiration to help you to that next stage because it’s within you to sort this out. Do you understand that? I don’t think that you deserve to be stuck in that chair, I really don’t. But it has to come from you. I kind of feel if we’re gonna go forward that we have to make a sort of a deal with each other, that we’re gonna both work hard to sort this out, yeah? Because I’ll back you if you back yourself. In which case Freddie I wanna kick this off and I want to give you a yes.”
Two more yeses were forthcoming from “X Factor” judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. But L.A. Reid had something that he wanted to say.
“I liked the deal that Simon made with you when he challenged you to stand…and if you stand I’m gonna stand right by you. It’s four yeses.”
Freddie Combs gave a thumbs up sign and said, “Thank you very much.”
O.k., that’s when the water works started all over for me. When L.A. Reid said “If you stand, I’m gonna stand right by you”…the entire “X Factor” audience jumped to their feet standing behind a man they had previously judged, simply upon his looks. There might be hope for the world after all.
To learn more about Freddie Combs and his “X Factor” 2012 experience check out the following links:
Freddie & Kay Combs/Website
Freddie Combs – Bridge Over Troubled Water
Freddie & Kay Combs/Heavily Ever After