Jenna Bush Hager’s Austin: Get Plugged In!
In this episode of the online competition series “Plugged In,” author and daughter of former president George W. Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, takes viewers to her hometown of Austin, Texas, where she puts our six contestants to the test with new challenges of stamina, problem solving and driving skills. The contestants, working in teams of two and using an all-new Ford Focus Electric, unravel Jenna’s clues about her favorite Austin locations and activities, which lead them on adventurous challenges, uniquely linked to her personal life. The teams compete to earn “butterfly” points, with the ultimate goal of representing Austin in the finale and competing with winners in nine other cities for a chance to win the Focus Electric.
The first challenge takes the contestants to Lady Bird Lake Trail. Jenna’s mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, would often make her protein shakes with fruit, ice and spirulina, a vitamin and protein supplement made of blue-green algae, before her cross-country practice at one of the oldest urban Texas Hike & Bike paths. Contestants race to replicate one of the smoothies, the winner is the team that can make the best tasting shake in under 15 minutes. Our judge is the coach of Jenna’s cross-country team, “Gilbert’s Gazelles, a.k.a. NCAA All-American Gilbert Tuhabonye.
For the second challenge, Jenna sends the participants on a scavenger hunt to visit a few of her most beloved locations around Austin. The contestants must try to reach as many locations as possible during the allotted time, taking a picture in each location and uploading their photo to Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/groups/fordpluggedin/
Our challengers have the option to head to Guadalupe and Willie Nelson Blvd to Lamberts, Jenna’s favorite spot for Austin BBQ. Jenna once threw a surprise going away party for her sister Barbara at Guero’s Taco Bar, another location on the scavenger hunt. Our challengers must grab a picture with her favorite dish, the El Presidente, named after former president Bill Clinton. Contestants can also snap a picture in front of Book People, an iconic Austin landmark that has been independently owned since 1970.
One of the locations reveals a surprising secret about former first lady Laura Bush: she’s a secret Rastafarian. While many kids might have been rocked to sleep with traditional nursery rhymes, Jenna unveils she was lulled to the sounds of Bob Marley. Antone’s, famous for being the first music venue on the historic Sixth Street, is where Jenna’s mother took her to see the reggae group Toots and the Maytals Contestants must snap a picture outside of this club, which is only a block from where Jenna lived in high school. Rounding out the scavenger hunt locations is the State Capitol Rotunda. Contestants can take a photo in front of this iconic dome where Jenna read from her first book at the Texas Book Festival, founded by her mother.
For the final challenge, the contestants head to the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) opened in 1857 and one of the first schools in Texas. TSD recently won the “Green School Makeover Competition”, and our challenge kept with the green theme. Our contestants compete in a game called the Eco-End Zone Drill, where each team’s station will have a bag full of used cans, bottles & plastic cups with a corresponding bin designated for each material on the field. Teams must sort out items from their end zone bin and transfer them to the appropriate receptacles. There’s one catch – this is all done as a three-legged race. The winner moves on to the finale for their chance to win a brand new Focus Electric.
JENNA BUSH HAGER’S FAVORITE PLACES
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