Season Premiere: Maryland
It's been six seasons of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
! Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday that we came together with a crazy idea of remodeling a house in a week. We started small with additions and improvements, and have grown to truly live up to our name EXTREME! We've been to all 50 states and even spent some extra time in the places that needed help the most after Katrina. It's been an amazing opportunity to be a part of it, and thanks to our wonderful viewers, the team is back in action for another season. Not many people know this, but we receive about a thousand applications a day from deserving families. We wish we could take care of ALL of themand hopefully we will stay around season after season to build more and more families homes.
At the end of last season, we dedicated the show to two heroes that rose above the rest in New Orleans. This season, we are sticking with that theme and focusing on heroes. What do you think of when you hear the word "hero"? Many people think of our military who fight for our freedom every day, or a fireman who goes into a burning building to save our loved ones. We definitely agree these men and women ARE heroes. But what about the single mom who dedicates her life to raising her kids? Or a young boy who fights for his life while inspiring everyone around him? These, too, are heroes, and that is what we are dedicating this season to those men, women and children around us everywhere that are our everyday unsung heroes.
A perfect example of this heroism can be seen this Sunday night on ABC [at 7 pm/ET], as the team heads to Maryland for our special two-hour season premiere. Since we had a big job ahead of us, we needed a big crew Ty, Michael, Paul, Eduardo, Didi, Ed and myself headed out on the bus to Rockeville to surprise the Jackson family. Felicia Jackson is truly a hero for the sacrifices she has made for her family. Four years ago, Felicia made a very serious promise to her sister, Cassandra, as she battled cervical cancer that she would take care of her children after she passed away. This may not seem exceptionally generous until you realize that while Felicia already has four children of her own, Cassandra had ten. In one instant, Felicia became a single mother of fourteen children, ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. For many people, this circumstance would be too overwhelming. Felicia fought against all odds (including losing her job and her home) to keep her promise and keep these children together. When we finally came to surprise the Jackson's, they were living in a government-funded hotel that they had to apply for every two weeks. Each time they went to the government office, they feared that this would be the week that they officially became homeless. Despite all of these pressures, Felicia held her hopes high and her family together.
I think the most amazing part of this entire story is how well-behaved and well-adjusted these children are. They are so kind, looking out for one another and helping each other in every way possible. This week, I was in charge of creating a room for the four oldest girls. When I spoke to them about what they wanted, I was sure that I would hear "my own room!" Instead, I learned that the girls wanted to stay together, plus I learned of their intense desire to perform and to be stars! Consequently, I designed a talent show room for all four girls.
While the rest of the designers were working on the house, I got to hop on a plane for a little field trip to Chicago to visit a VERY special guest. Since the girls loved performing, they listed many top singers and actresses that they admired. I got in touch with one of their IDOLS, and was able to film her words of wisdom for the girls. Who is this special guest? You will have to watch to find out.although I did give you a slight hint!!!
The builder this week was Classic Homes of Maryland a great team that came together as a family to build an amazing house for this family. Any time of the day or night, you could find Prim, DJ or Amita with a smile on their faces, saying how blessed they were to be a part of it. Actually, we were the blessed ones to start season six off in such good hands.
Although you will be seeing the first show of the season, we've been on the road for months tracking down these everyday heroes. We are excited to share the rest of the season with all of you, and are looking forward to introducing to the world some of the very best unsung heroes in America.