Paul DiMeo

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Extreme Makeover Helps the Big Easy

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Ty Pennington talks New Orleans musician Irvin Mayfield.

Stunned silence doesn't play especially well on reality TV, but then reality TV hasn't encountered anything quite like New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Archille "Chile" O'Neal, a blues musician from storm-struck St. Bernard's Parish who lost all of his instruments, was moved beyond words when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Paul DiMeo — the carpenter with the Buddy Holly eyewear — surprised him with a pickup truck full of gleaming Gibson and Hohner guitars. As he clicked open case after case, O'Neal just shook his head in glorious disbelief. "You realize these are for you, Chile?" a producer asked off camera. "All these are yours to keep." DiMeo slung his arm around O'Neal's shoulder and smiled warmly, as the producer asked them to redo the moment. On Take 2, they got exactly the Extreme reaction ABC needed: hoots, hollers and an unholy scream of "Oh, my god!" As its popularity co read more

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