August 06, 2007 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
This week in "Rush/Rios-Bolman," a woman whose dogs come first in the
household swaps lives with an eco-friendly wife who takes recycling to
the extreme by re-using her own urine for fertilizer, on "Wife Swap,"
MONDAY, AUGUST 6 (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 just what it’s like to live another woman’s life.
It’s a mind-blowing experiment that often ends up changing their lives
For the Rush family from North Carolina, life revolves around the household’s canine "royalty." Spending over $100,000 a year on her 100 pups, dog breeder Sheila (49) dedicates almost all of her time to her dogs, while treating husband, Ray (51), and son, Tyler (15), like second class citizens. In this house, what Sheila says goes. Tyler complains that the men in the home have to eat cold pizza off paper plates while the dogs eat filet mignon out of designer dishes. There is barely any quality time between family members, not to mention a lack of romance between Sheila and Ray, who sleep in separate rooms at night. When he’s not picking up dog poop, Ray is the owner of Rush Electrical. Meanwhile Sheila forces Tyler to play macho sports he doesn’t enjoy in order to make a man of him.
Sheila travels to the Rios-Bolman household in Oregon, where Melanie (50), Rob (50) and Skye (15) reside in an eco-village and find ways to recycle their own waste. Melanie loves her eco-village and all the people living there. She’s dedicated to saving the planet, and her eco-conscious practices include not using toilet paper and recycling her urine to cultivate the family’s plants. Skye is a sensitive, artistic teenager, and he’s been given complete autonomy. But all is not peace and love at the Rios-Bolmans’; Rob and Skye have problems getting along, and Skye has his own apartment on another part of the eco-village.
In the first week of the swap, Melanie Rios-Bolman has to dress, feed and fawn over Sheila’s pampered pooches, even bathing with them, while Sheila Rush must recycle her own urine in order to save the earth. In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Melanie throws the dogs out of the Rush home, bans toilet paper and tries to give Ray a voice in his own home, while Sheila brings the joy of dogs to the Rios-Bolmans and tries to bring Skye and Rob together. At the end of the swap, when the families are reunited, will Sheila learn to put her family before her dogs, and will Rob welcome Skye back into the family home?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Stef Wagstaffe and Stephen Lambert of RDF Media ("Faking It" and "Junkyard Wars") and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Stephanie Schwam Adams, Mitchell Rosenbaum, and Mike Gamson are the co-executive producers.