UPDATED – Ozarks Extreme Makeover Day 2: The Demolition

Jeremy Elwood, SBJ ReporterHurry up and wait.

The hectic pace and excitement of Tuesday, the first day of shooting at the Ash Grove site for ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” was matched on Day 2 by the waiting and anticipation.

The show’s producers decided to demolish the home of Chris and Niki Hampton in the manner best suited for the job.

They blew it up.

It could have been done the old-fashioned way: with wrecking balls and bulldozers tearing down walls quietly and efficiently to make way for the newer, bigger and better home.

But they chose dynamite. This is, after all, television.

Photographers and videographers – both professionals and amateurs like me – were set up just across the street to capture the moments. Until the show’s director approached us.

We were informed that once the crew was ready to start wiring the home, everyone would be moved back 500 feet for safety. We were free to leave our video cameras closer to the house, but no guarantees for their survival.

One reporter asked how far away would be safe for the cameras.

“Well, we put ours right in the front yard,” was the director’s reply. “Of course, we have ours in one-inch-thick steel boxes.”

We moved – except our media partner, KSPR, which got three great angles of the house explosion.

The demolition actually happened in three phases – a small shed went first (perhaps a test) followed by the barn and then the home itself.

And even the hardened show staff, staying behind its 500-foot safety barrier with the rest of the spectators and media was surprised by the power of the blasts. After the first explosion – and a few choice expletives – the crew gave the signal to begin wiring the barn. It and the house proceeded to crumble in like fashion.

So was it worth it to wait hours, standing in a soggy pasture, just to see a house blown to smithereens?


But here’s hoping the rest of the build proceeds much more rapidly.


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