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Austin woman wins car

Paula Gaines may enjoy the music provided by budding stars featured on TV's "American Idol," but she'll probably always have a special fondness for Crystal Bowersox.

Bowersox, the dreadlocked free spirit who was runner-up on last season's hit talent show, created a car that expressed her personality.

Gaines, an Austin resident, won it.

"I'm thrilled to have won a new (Ford) Fiesta designed by Crystal," Gaines said. "This whole experience has just been incredible."

The process began when Ford Motor Co. gave each of the top 12 contestants a palette of nine colors to choose from, with names like Lime Squeeze and Blue Flame.


Four car designers then helped each contestant develop the concept for his or her personalized Fiesta, using color, custom body graphics, wheel treatments and other accessories to transform the vehicle into an expression of each contestant’s individuality.

Not surprisingly, many of the singers incorporated music into their designs.

"We explained to the idols that the graphics they design will actually be a symbol of them and their life experiences," said designer Dean Carbis. "They were really excited to work with us."

From March 17 to May 21, fans 18 and older were allowed to enter the Ford Music Video Challenge weekly for a chance to win one of the vehicles.

That's where Gaines' luck came through.

"We're excited to be a part of this opportunity for Paula," said Nathan Toland of Holiday Ford in Austin.

"The Fiesta is an expressive vehicle ... and the personal design from one of the top contestants on 'American Idol' makes this vehicle one of a kind."

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