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Extreme Makeover Home Edition Recap: Season Premiere With Michelle Obama, Rhianna, and the Marshall Family

September 25, 2011 05:57 PM by Candace Young

Ty Pennington and the Extreme Makeover Home Edition design team kick off the premiere of season seven by knocking on the door of the White House and meeting Michelle Obama, who assures them she is on board to help out with this week’s build. Keep reading for the highlights of this episode which features the family of Barbara Marshall and the Jubilee House…

Barbara Marshall is a female veteran who opened a shelter, Steps N Stages Jubilee House, for homeless female veterans where she could offer them support and services such as mentoring and life coaching, in addition to a roof over their head. The buildings are in disrepair and that’s where Extreme Makeover Home Edition comes in.

The bus arrives in Fort Bragg to gather up volunteers before heading to Fayetteville, North Carolina to surprise the Marshall family. US Army paratroopers jump out of planes over their heads. They all follow Ty as he yells, “Good Morning Marshall Family!” The current residents of Steps N Stages Jubilee House embrace and celebrate. Barbara tells Ty her dream is to not have to turn any female veteran away.

Ty tours the current Jubilee House to find out what challenges they’ve been facing. Tracy talks to Nicky, a single mom who is currently residing in the home. They share tears discussing what she went through in Afghanistan, how she missed her boys, and how difficult it is to resume a normal life after active duty.  The other ladies are thankful for Barbara and Jubilee House for giving them back self-respect. Barbara herself has a son with a learning disability to care for as well.

Ty says they’re all going to Walt Disney World while Blue Ridge Log Cabins, the volunteers, and the design team get busy!  At Disney World the kids salute real-life toy soldiers. Ty contacts them to watch the demo of the old Jubilee House. They run a big rope from the house to the coast guard boat and pull it down!

While the design team and builders get started, Ty returns to the White House where Michelle Obama takes him on a bit of a tour and talks about the upper floors being warm and kid-friendly for their family to live in. Michelle shows Ty the White House garden and suggests it might be a good idea for Jubilee House.

After, Ty calls the design team together in a field near the build and drops a box down to them from a plane. Their challenge – make the crate into a White House playhouse in one week – and Michelle Obama’s coming to check it out.

During the build, Sears holds a job fair/career expo for the female veterans in the area to match them up with positions appropriate to their experience as well as to teach them resume and interview skills. They also get a shopping spree to look the part. Barbara and the others watch from Walt Disney World.

In Walt Disney World, a military-themed parade is ready to get underway. Ty appears on a big screen and Barbara is thanked by all in attendance for her contributions. Michelle Obama then appears on the screen to speak to Barbara about her Joining Forces initiative and to thank her for her service and sacrifice. Barbara calls it astonishing.  She is presented with an American flag on behalf of Michelle Obama and two fighter jets do a flyover in her honor.

At the build, the design team talks to many of the women volunteering who served. A group of them are taken to meet superstar singer, Rhianna, who heard what Extreme Makeover Home Edition was doing and wanted to help out. She applauds them for their efforts and then sits down to listen to their stories and hear what Jubilee House means to them. Rhianna says it touches her heart.  They get in touch with Barbara and the gang at Disney. Rhianna tells them she is raffling off tickets to her concert and the proceeds will go to Jubilee House.

At the build site, things are coming together – on both Jubilee House and the White House playhouse! Ty warns through his megaphone that the family will be back in 24 hours and the First Lady is coming. Soon it’s time to raise the flag out front and move the furniture in. Ty tells the design team to pull themselves together – Michelle Obama is there – it’s one of the show’s proudest moments!

Ty and the design team greet Michelle Obama. She shows up in casual clothes and sneakers, ready to pitch in and help out. Ty tells her how much it means that they watch the show, and that she offered to help out. Michelle thanks Ty for giving her the opportunity. She agrees to write a personal letter to Barbara on White House stationary.

They take Michelle inside to see the plaques on which the women who have passed through Jubilee House have left inspirational quotes, as well as a huge American flag on the dining room wall made of their photographs of females soldiers.

Next, they take her outside to see the White House playhouse. She points out all the details and puts on the flag. Ty shows her the garden and greenhouse, as well as the vacutube, or veggietube, he designed to send vegetables from the garden to the kitchen. She helps carry in the plants. Ty is excited for Barbara to see that the First Lady is at her house.

The family is back to see the new Jubilee House. Ty gives Chip Smith of Blue Ridge Log Cabins a chance to speak to Barbara, and then tells her Michelle Obama is there in person. Michelle steps off the bus and embraces Barbara. She tells her how much they value their service and support the veterans. Michelle joins the chant to move that bus!

After exclaiming over the sight of the new Jubilee House, Barbara and the residents rush inside, where they marvel over the kitchen, read the inspirational plaques, and take in the flag mosaic.

They check out the ‘east wing’ and are thrilled to see working spaces with computers in the new multi-purpose room. He introduces George Hind from the University of Charleston to announce that they are establishing a scholarship in Barbara’s name for the children at Jubilee House to have the opportunity to have a college education.  Adjoining, is an sound-insulated indoor playroom for the kids.

Some of the other residents view their new private spaces at the house. Heather and Nikki have their own rooms, and Judy has her name engraved on the kitchen island. The boys check out their new rooms – before they were sleeping on couches. They hug Pauly when he comes in. In each of the rooms there are things they are allowed to take with them when they move on.

Barbara’s son, Bert, gets his own room with a drum-theme.  Barbara has her own sanctuary full of books and her flag from Mrs. Obama takes pride of place over the bed.  Ty comes in to show her the special personal note from Michelle Obama on her desk.  Ty then leaves her alone to share a private conversation with the First Lady.

They head to the backyard to see the garden and greenhouse. The First Lady gives them seeds from her garden – she says she’ll come back to see them once they’ve grown.  Ty says it’s been an honor to have helped Jubilee House, Michelle Obama says this is a call to others to step up, and Barbara says she’s humbled and applauds all veterans. Ty welcomes the Marshall family home.

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Photos: typennington.com

Topics: ABC Reality TV Shows, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition |

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1 Comment »

One Response to “Extreme Makeover Home Edition Recap: Season Premiere With Michelle Obama, Rhianna, and the Marshall Family”

  1. Rosemary Sanchez Says:
    September 25th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    That is so beautiful. There should be at least two Jubille Houses or more in each state to help our heros.


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