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Honors for a Carpenter 'Extreme'


Paige Hemmis, star of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," accepting an award from the National Association of Broadcasters at their gala on Monday. (Cable Risdon)

In recent years the National Association of Broadcasters has given its top honor, the "Service to America Leadership" prize, to the likes of Bill Clinton, Laura Bush, Elton John, Queen Noor and Muhammad Ali.

And now ... "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

Hey, don't laugh. The tear-jerking renovation-porn reality show has rehabbed the homes of 143 needy families, gratis, over six highly rated seasons. When was the last time you saw Sir Elton swinging a hammer or consoling a hurricane victim?

Accepting the prize at Monday night's gala at the Renaissance Washington hotel: Paige Hemmis, the show's ridiculously dishy designer-carpenter. She brought her boyfriend (cute, scruffy beard, Australian) and wore a dazzling pale pink not-suitable-for-work-sites strapless gown.

After the dinner (awards to do-gooder broadcasters, applause from the tables made up of lobbyists and industry types), we caught up with Hemmis outside the ladies' room. Is she really a self-trained carpenter, as gala host Deborah Norville announced? How'd she do that?

"I bought books!" she said. She had been working in real estate and found that she needed to learn how to fix things herself. Because "I'm cheap." And then, a guest spot as a contestant on "Monster House" went so swimmingly that they asked her back as a host, which led to "Extreme Makeover."

Which led to our next question -- her exquisite tumble of blond hair, which was sort of half up, half down, half something else that night. Ever get in the way of work? She laughed. When she first started the show, "they wanted me to wear my hair down," she said, "and I was like, 'Let's get one thing straight: I'm a carpenter.' "


By The Reliable Source  |  June 10, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
 
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Comments

It is absolutely amazing what this television show does for Americans. Companies like Sears and Ford, plus CVS pharmacies that sponsor the show and give, give ,give. The show deserves the Medal of Freedom Award but will the people in Washington realize that this show is good for the morale of Americans?Wake up Washington, Americans do care about our own, just watch it every sunday night.

Posted by: lvjm | June 10, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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