Thursday night’s final auditions episode of “The X Factor” delivered more talented singers, but none captured the attention of the audience and judges like 40-year-old minister Freddie Combs.
Combs, who weighs 540 pounds and is wheelchair bound, was brought onstage by his wife of sixteen years, Kay. The Greensboro native admitted that he nearly died in 2009 when he weighed 920 lbs and now just wants the opportunity for the world to hear his voice. The judges, visibly stunned, couldn’t hide their skepticism.
Dedicating “Wind Beneath My Wings” to Kay, Combs proceeded to bring the house down with an emotional, soulful performance. Afterward, L.A. Reid described his voice “heavenly.” Simon Cowell also praised Combs, but offered him a challenge before approving his advancement to Boot Camp.
“Freddie, you know what,” Simon said. “When I heard you singing I had a vision in my mind of you standing singing that song, healthy and happy.
“Maybe you need some inspiration to help you to that next stage” he continued. “Because it’s within you to sort this out and I don’t think you deserve to be stuck in that chair, I really don’t.”
“Me neither,” Combs responded.
“It has to come from you,” Simon added. “I kind of feel that if we’re going to go forward that we have to make a deal with each other that we’re both going to work hard to sort this out, because I’ll back you if you’ll back yourself.”
Watch below to see Freddie’s performance and the judge’s final decision: