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Donahue & Baker Families On Wife Swap

August 27, 2006 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon

"Donahoe/Baker" — This week, a pampered, clothes-horse, Southern belle swaps lives with a working dairy farming mother of six on "Wife Swap" — the acclaimed, unscripted reality show that takes us into the intimate heart of the American family home, revealing the extraordinarily different ways they live — MONDAY, AUGUST 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

Each week, from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part in "Wife Swap." 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 a very different woman’s life. It’s a mind-blowing experiment that oftentimes ends up changing their lives forever.

Christie Baker is a 41-year-old Southern belle who believes she deserves the best in life, which her 51-year-old husband, Richard, delivers in true Southern gentleman style, serving her breakfast in bed and routinely cleaning the house. The Bakers reside in Tennessee, where their lives revolve around their three daughters: 17-year-old cheerleader twins Maurie and Margo, and 11-year-old Mary Jewels. The girls and Christie get everything they want. Christie takes two bubble baths a day and spoils her daughters with regular manicures, trips to the hair salon and tanning sessions. This is one mother who believes her kids should enjoy childhood to the fullest, without the burden of chores or jobs. Christie herself doesn’t do any — husband Richard does everything and works 60 hours a week as an engineer.

Christie is transplanted to rural upstate New York, home to the Donahoes, a dairy farming family with six children ranging in age from two to 16. The Donahoes are a hard-working, family centered clan in which everyone pitches in to get the job done. Audrey, 36, works in the barn and is responsible for all the household chores, including six loads of laundry each day and preparing a home-cooked meal every night. In addition to attending school, Audrey’s oldest children spend up to six hours daily working the 150 cows and caring for their younger siblings. Husband Jeff, 37, is the stalwart head of the household, rising at 4:30 a.m. every morning to milk the cows and run the dairy operation. The Donahoes believe in teaching their kids independence, responsibility and a strong work ethic.

In the first week of the swap, Christie is forced to forgo her creature comfort for… creatures, an endless line of smelly, mooing, cud-chewing cows, all needing to be milked before dawn in the less-than-fragrant barn. Meanwhile, Audrey is blown away by the pampered lifestyle she’s experiencing. But in the second week the wives turn the tables and change the rules, creating a roller coaster for all. Christie forbids the Donahoe children to work on the farm — burdening Jeff with an even heavier work load — while Audrey clamps down on the Baker girls, insisting they drink milk, do chores and help their father. One husband melts down about missing his wife, and one wife is brought to tears by the other’s harsh criticism of the way she lives and raises her family. Lessons are learned but resentment lingers.

"Wife Swap" is an RDF Media production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Lambert and Jenny Crowther of RDF Media and Michael Davies of Diplomatic. Wendy Roth is the co-executive producer. "Wife Swap" is broadcast with Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. This program carries a TV-PG parental guideline.

Topics: Wife Swap |

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3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Donahue & Baker Families On Wife Swap”

  1. Lisa Simintachi Says:
    May 1st, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I loved the Donahue’s. I love families that teach children a good solid work ethic. That is the epitome of family values. I hated how Audrey cried when she was told her house smelled like cow manuer. No matter….your family rocks. Be proud to be a dairy farmer!!!

  2. Kendra Says:
    October 7th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    The baker mom should be ashamed of herself. I al so disgusted with her children and her selfishness. It’s pathetic and it really pisses me off. Be a real mother and wife. The baker husband needs to leave that lazy horrible woman.

  3. Stevie Raveon Says:
    January 7th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Just watched this episode.

    I *LOVE* the Donahoe family.
    Friggin’ HATE the Baker woman and her daughters.

    In the future, the producers need to be WAY more careful in what they allow these divas to get away with.
    That horrible Baker woman could literally have KILLED Mr Donahoe’s cows, the way she put the milkers on wrong and walked away and was ever so much more concerned with hanging up her stupid coat than tending the cows properly.

    Those cows are not only that man’s livelihood, they are sentient creatures who MUST be treated in a certain manner.
    If she was that opposed to not possibly destroying the Donahoe’s farm, she should’ve been fired and kicked right off that farm.

    There are “divas” and then there are outright a-holes.
    The Baker person is the latter.

    I dearly hope the Donahoe’s are still farming and that their kids have followed them into the business.

    We need farmers.
    We do NOT need spoiled, selfish do-nothing lay-abouts.

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