November 28, 2005 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
This week in "Stonerock/Finley," a Pastor’s wife who loves the great outdoors swaps places with an outdoors-hating, computer-obsessed mom whose husband is an atheist disc jockey, on ABC’s "Wife Swap"– the critically-acclaimed unscripted reality show that takes us into the intimate heart of the American family home to reveal the extraordinarily different ways families live their lives – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Each week, from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part. In a two week-long challenge, the wives from these two families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover what it’s like to live another mother’s very different life. It’s a mind-blowing experiment that often changes their lives forever.
Kelly Stonerock (37) and her husband, Pastor Jeff Stonerock (39), live in a cozy suburban Michigan home with their four children, Devon (10), Justin (9), Hunter (3) and Jesse (2), and their niece Taylor (9) and nephew Jacob (6). The Stonerocks are pillars of their community. Jeff is the pastor of the town’s Pentecostal church and Kelly is its "First Lady." Her regimented and fast-paced daily schedule includes home schooling, working out, playing team sports and hosting regular Bible-discussion groups with other women from the church. Kelly keeps the children on a hectic schedule involving church activities and volunteer work. She sees to it that the family gets plenty of exercise, including soccer, basketball, baseball, canoeing, hiking and sledding. The entire family shares in the household cleaning. The kids must abide by the "Stonerock Behavior/ Consequence Plan," which Kelly, Jeff, and the children wrote together. It outlines what happens if the children don’t abide by the rules. For example, cursing results in someone’s mouth getting washed out with soap. In addition to lots of family time, Kelly and Jeff still manage to make time for each other, having regular date nights and vacations.
Kelly travels to the urban Georgia lived-in home of Amber Finley (30) and her husband, Reginald (31). The Finleys are atheists raising three children, Dorian (11), Reginald Jr. (3) and baby girl Ryan (1). Dad Reggie spends 80 hours a week working from home, broadcasting his own internet radio show and running a website devoted to atheism. He believes that God does not exist and convinced his wife to give up her Christian beliefs when the couple first started dating. After the kids go to daycare and school, Amber spends her day on the computer, surfing the Internet or obsessively playing computer games. Amber and the family are also responsible for cleaning the house to Reginald’s high standards. The children spend their evenings in front of the television and computer or quietly in their rooms, so as not to disturb Dad while he’s broadcasting a show. Though Amber and Reginald are at home together all day, they rarely spend quality time with each other, as Reginald is obsessed with his work, which barely supports the family.
In the first week of the swap, devoted mom Kelly bristles at having to leave the kids at daycare and cries when she finds out how little time Reggie spends with his son. Meanwhile, Amber dissolves in tears when the Stonerocks’ niece reveals she’s not treated the same as the other kids in the family.
In week two of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Kelly converts Reggie’s radio broadcast into her own show and, in a kitchen confrontation, Reggie sobs, saying Kelly makes him feel like a failure. Meanwhile, non-believing Amber puts Pastor Jeff in his place; fining him a dollar each time he mentions God and collecting enough money to throw a huge party for the kids. At the end of the swap, when the couples are reunited, will they find common ground or are their differences too great to overcome?
"Wife Swap" is n RDF Media production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Lambert, and Jenny Crowther of RDF Media ("Faking It" and "Junkyard Wars") and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Wendy Roth is the co-executive producer.