Monday, June 22, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover 2009

In my brief post yesterday I said that I was going over to a friend's house, where Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was expected to announce the next family to receive a complete home rebuild. I say expected because it is very hush hush which family is chosen until Announcement Day. Once the camera crews and crowds started gathering there was little doubt left that the Hills from Suffield, Connecticut were the next family to be featured.

This is the before picture of William and Catherine Hill's house, taken from my friend's driveway.

Beyond the eagerly waiting head of my son is the bus carrying Ty Pennington, the designers Michael and Dee Dee, and rap singer Xhibit. Xhibit is also the host for MTV's Pimp My Ride. I have asked crew members to put in a good word to help me get my 1997 minivan 'pimped'. Why not, right? : )

Ty and crew jumped out of the bus around 10:00 AM and with megaphone in hand woke the Hill family with the famous line, "Good Morning Hill Family!" If he said anything else it could not be heard above the family's screams of excitement. The above picture is of the designers and Xhibit being interviewed while the family embraces and no doubt absorbs the enormity of what is to come. Sorry no Ty pictures yet. When he was out of the bus he was completely surrounded by family members or cameras. I am hoping to get a good picture some time during the week. A fact I did not know about the show is they tape 2 at the same time and Ty has to fly back and forth across the country to film his part in both shows in the same week. So, while I am hoping to get a picture I know that we were lucky to get the quick glimpses we did.

The limo arrives to wisk the family away, but as you can see by this picture it has a hard time manuevering around the chaos of cameras, news reporters, crew members, and volunteers. Another big event happened right before the Limo left with the family. They call it the "Braveheart". It's when the army of volunteers donning their blue shirts and hard hats take over the entire street in their dramatic march to the house. We, unfortunately missed this(hoping that someone got some great shots that I can share later). We had to leave at some point to celebrate Father's Day with all of the awesome fathers in our family. By the way, hope all dads and grandfathers had a great day!

After the family left different construction, or should I say destruction crews came in. First a fence company arrived and tore out all of the surrounding fencing. Then came the big boys; the tree removal company. The equipment was massive and unbelievably powerful. One machine was able to grab an entire tree, slice it at ground level (above picture), hand it off to the large crane claw of the next machine, which fed it directly into the biggest grinder I have ever seen (picture below). In seconds a 40 foot pine tree was reduced to wood chips.

It was a crazy first day. I'm not sure I will get over to the site today, but I imagine that they will be still removing trees and getting everything ready for Demo Day tomorrow. I am definetly going to that. My kids and neice and nephew won't let me miss it. They are so excited to see the bull dozer plow down a house.

Hope you have enjoyed the little behind the scenes peek at a true Hollywood sized production and stop by for more updates as the week goes on. I think the thing that amazes me most is that a house will be torn down, trees removed, and then rebuilt and landscaped in 7 days. I can't even get the front bushes trimmed in that time. I am handing my To Do list over to a Hollywood producer. Well, a girl can dream.

If there is something you want to know about the show let me know and will do my best to find out. The crew and security are very friendly and happy to answer any questions.
Kristin : )

** I turned all of the extra pictures into a slide show on Flickr. Check it out!

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