January 30, 2011 07:57 PM by Candace Young
On the Extreme Makeover Home Edition bus enroute to Wellman, Texas, Ty Pennington tells the other members of the design team about the Brown family, who lost their teen daughter, Alex, in a single vehicle accident when she was texting and driving while not wearing a seatbelt. Special guests Emma Roberts, Justin Bieber, and Nascar drivers Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle join the show on this special episode. Read on for highlights…
The Brown family, which includes Johnny Mac, Jeanne, and surviving daughter, Katrina, age 12, are living in a double-wide trailer that is falling apart. Alex’s best friend, Amanda, joins the design team on the bus to go surprise the family at the high school, where they are giving a speech about the dangers of texting and driving.
They arrive at the high school, where Amanda prompts the crowd to lift up placards from under their seats – they read, “Good Morning Brown Family!” The Extreme Makeover Home Edition bus pulls up with Ty hollering in the bullhorn. The Brown family is amazed. Katrina thinks Alex is looking down on them. Ty tells them they will not only build them a house, but help them spread their message further.
Ty spends time with Jeanne and Johnny Mac. At the accident site, Jeanne describes to Ty how she found her daughter’s wreck after she didn’t arrive at school on time. Meanwhile, at the current house, Katrina cries as she talks to Paige about what it was like to lose her big sister. Ty and the Browns arrive at the house, where Ty learns they want to take their campaign nationwide. Michael and Leigh Ann are extremely moved when they look at Alex’s room, which has been left just as it was. Jeanne shows them where Alex had written ‘I love you’ on a window with her finger – they’ve never washed it.
Ty gives the entire family a moment alone to say goodbye to Alex’s old room – it’s heartbreaking.
Back outside, the Browns meet the builders from Palm Harbor Homes and see all of the community volunteers, before leaving on their trip to New York City.
The Brown’s old mobile home is wheeled away and will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Ty gets in touch with the family in New York City to introduce them to the new campaign – RAB (Remember Alex Brown) – and let them know they are having everyone sign a pledge to not text while driving.
As work begins on the new house, Leigh Ann works on the new backyard, and Ty hands out thumb bands with the RAB emblem on them, which will remind the wearer not to text while driving.
Ty goes to pick up a special guest and brings her back to the work site – it’s actress Emma Roberts, who was particularly moved by Alex’s story and wants to help out.
The modular home is coming together nicely, as Ty plans some slogans with Emma Roberts for the campaign. They both sign the pledge. Michael is working on the master bedroom, which will have an international flavor. Emma moves on to helping Paige with Katrina’s room, which will feature a ‘Murphy’ stage instead of a ‘Murphy bed’.
Ty calls the team together to make a barbecue out of a giant steer statue!
The office/garage and house are all up by Day 4. Ty is working on an interactive machine which the Browns can use to simulate driving while texting to give their message more impact. Michael is working on copying one of Alex’s love notes onto a coffee table.
Alex’s best friend, Amanda, helps Ty make a message wall in the office, which has slogans such as, ‘Live now, text later’.
Paige goes to round up some of Katrina’s friends from school to share in a special experience. Five nervous girls are called to the principal’s office, where Paige greets them with the news that they’re going to New York City to surprise Katrina – they will be meeting Justin Bieber at his concert! The girls squeal their approval.
In New York City, Paige and the girls arrive at Katrina’s hotel – she’s very surprised, but Paige says there is an even bigger surprise. The girls giggle in the limo and Katrina realizes they all know what is going on.
Once at the concert venue, Katrina is made to turn around and wait for her surprise. She finally gets to look – Justin Bieber emerges from behind a curtain! He high fives the girls and hugs Katrina, who positively swoons!
Justin asks Katrina questions about herself, and tells the Brown family they will unveil a banner at the end of the night asking that people don’t text and drive – he is also donating one dollar from each ticket sold to their campaign.
Justin Bieber takes Katrina to hang out alone before the concert. She tells him about her sister, Alex, and he encourages her in to follow her dreams.
Back at the house, Michael shows Emma how he will preserve the window that Alex wrote on in a shadow box.
At the track, Leigh Ann is with Nascar drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, who will attempt to drive a simple cone course while texting. Two of the best drivers in the racing world cannot do it – they knock cones over and veer off course.
In New York City, Justin Bieber is holding a before-party at the concert and invites Katrina to join him onstage for the first dance of the night! Katrina and her girls end up challenging Justin and his crew to a dance off. The girls all decide they have Bieber Fever.
Paige returns to Texas in time to help Leigh Ann design a brand for the ‘Bull-b-que’, and she also finishes up with Katrina’s bedroom. Ty gets the keys and the furniture starts going in!
The Brown family is brought home a day early to find out what all Extreme Makeover Home Edition has done to further their campaign. They are brought to the high school where the entire town has turned out for a pep rally. Emma Roberts is introduced to the family. Ty shows the Browns the RAB thumb bands next, saying everyone there is wearing one. He announces that this week they spread the message to fifty high schools in fifty states and got the pledge signed in all of them.
Finally it’s time to ‘move that bus’! The Brown family reels at the sight of the new house and incredible landscaping. Ty tells the Browns that Katrina has received a full paid tuition for college.
There are a lot of tears as Jeanne, Johnny Mac, and Katrina take in the interior of the new house. Katrina sobs when she sees Alex’s message on the coffee table. Katrina marvels at her new bedroom which is chock full of craft supplies, has a framed photo of her and Justin Bieber, a large camera to film home movies, and Emma Roberts comes in to show her how to convert her bed to a stage! Justin appears on the TV in the room to tell her she is coming to the premiere of his movie, “Never Say Never!”
Johnny Mac and Jeannie explore their new master bedroom, which features the window that says, ‘To Mom, Alex loves you.” Michael comes in to point out all the international pieces in the room.
Now it’s time for the Brown family to check out their new backyard! The all get a kick out of the ‘bull-b-que’. Ty then takes them to the new office. Michael tells them Sprint has paid for the new state-of-the-art office in support of their campaign and message, and have donated $50,000 as well. They are shown the simulator, which they can take on the road with them. RAB also has a new website. Back outside, Ty welcomes the Brown family home.
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Photo Courtesy: ABC