Jonesville native Freddie Combs has made his mark on prime-time television, becoming an X Factor sensation after his first performance on the show last month.
After making it through two rounds of cuts and being placed in the top 60 contestants, the 540 pound minister is now out of the competition.
“I can speak freely about my experience now because I’m out,” he said. “I was cut in the elimination right before the judges houses.”
Though Combs’ performances on X Factor gained him the stardom he has now, it wasn’t his first performance to a national audience. He made his first television debut on TLC’s reality series “Ton of Love,” which starred Combs and his wife Kay.
The once 900-pound man’s struggle with weight loss attracted the attention of a European entertainment network, RTV TV, which filmed a documentary series about his weight loss. Combs said during the filming of that episode, the producer heard Combs sing and advised him to audition for the X-factor.
“I laughed because I didn’t think that I would make it and he left it at that,” Combs said. “He later called me and said ‘meet me in Nashville in two days, I’ve set you up an audition for you. You’re auditioning for X Factor.’”
Combs made the trip to Nashville, recorded Bridge Over Troubled Water and submitted his tape to X Factor.
“I didn’t hear anything for five months; two days before the audition in Greensboro,” he said. “I had to have five songs ready and the tracks picked out for my audition in Greensboro and I had only two days to figure it out.”
Because of his background is gospel singing, he decided to perform Bette Midler’s ‘Wind Beneath My Wings,’ and wowed the judges, even bringing tears to Britney Spears’ eyes.
In the round before making it to the judge’s houses, Combs was cut from the competition.
“It has been a whirlwind,” he said. “I did not realize how much our lives would change from being on the show. When my audition aired two weeks ago, the next morning we got up and I was all over the Internet, newspapers, TV and every body knew my name. I don’t care about my name being known, but the thing I am glad about is people know I’m a minister and they are coming to me asking me for prayer and I’m able to pray with people and talk to people about the Lord and that part, to me, is better than any money I could have won.”
Reach Darcie Dyer at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.