January 02, 2008 08:26 PM by Jennifer_Brown
We got a classic battle for the season premiere of WifeSwap: Beauty vs. Brains. Who will win — the image-conscious pageant family or the ultra-feminist brainiacs?
Tonight’s show pits the Guastafero family — mom Karen, dad Ralph, and daughter Alicia — against the Boss family — mom Angie, dad Duwaine, and daughters Kaylyn, Katie, and Clara.
The Guastaferos are all about “sparkle,” and it shows. Alicia is the sparkliest 15-year old you’ve ever seen. And she has good reason for it. Living in the lap of luxury, this is one kid who’s not to be bothered with mundane life things such as homework, housework, or (ew, icky!) any and all physical labor. So dedicated to keeping Princess Alicia sparkly, this family keeps a Christmas tree up all year round, and for Alicia, who has beenwinning beauty pageants since she was 11 months old,every day is literally Christmas. “We never say no to Alicia,” boasts Karen, who plans to show her new family “what’s really important — to sparkle!” (ouch, my dimples hurt already).
Over at Casa Boss, life is a bit different. Angie is a Quaker pastor, homeschooler, and driving the femininity bus right into GirlPowerTown every day. This is great for Kaylyn, who is a miniature version of her mother. Problem is, Clara is intent on shaking up the household by liking nail polish and wanting to be a princess, something that grates on Angie’s last feminist nerve. “I might be in hell,” Angie predicts about her new “home” with the Guastaferos.
It doesn’t take long before the fireworks start flying. Angie’s asked to do Alicia’s homework for her, which she considers lying. “I really want to write in every answer wrong, just for fun,” she says. She butts heads with Ralph time and again over pageanting, accusing him of using his daughter as a piece of meat and teaching her that image is everything.
Karen, too, is struggling with Duwaine and Kaylyn, especially after she calls Kaylyn a “geek,” and decides that, rather than homeschool Clara, she’d rather paint Clara’s nails. She gripes about Duwain teaching the girls car mechanics and complains that he’s turning them into little boys.
And then the women get to change the rules. Uh-oh.
First up on Angie’s list is to take down the Christmas tree (uh…it IS spring…). She sits Alicia and Ralph down and calls Alicia a liar for turning in homework that she didn’t complete on her own. Then she tears up a photo of Alicia, sending Alicia into hyperventilating tears. “If you rip up another picture, we will sue you,” Alicia threatens. It’s more than Ralph can take — he packs up Angie’s stuff and plunks it on the front porch. “You’re history in my house,” he growls.
Karen’s rule-change, while making Duwaine want to “vomit,” are a little less dramatic. She plans to sparkle up those girls, including entering them in a pageant. She then takes the girls and gets them makeovers, complete with miniskirts, highlights, and makeup. Duwaine is not happy with his 13-year old in that miniskirt…
Ralph lets Angie back into the house, where he can call her a “feminist pig” to her face. But Angie’s nothing but determined. She makes Alicia get a job waitressing, where Alicia breaks down into tears (Daddy lets her quit). She also makes Alicia take down her trophies and crowns and replace them with a project about important historical women. She even has Alicia cook a dinner (Ralph makes Alicia cry when he says he wouldn’t feed the food to the dogs. Ouch!).
And back at the Boss house…who exactly is the boss anyway? A screaming match ensues when the pageant dresses arrive, and Duwaine gathers up the girls and squeals away in the truck. When he comes back, he agrees to let Clara enter the pageant (Kaylyn refuses to participate). Clara enters and wins. Yay, Clara!
The week of torture over, the couples reunite and sit down for a face-to-face insult-a-thon. Angie seethes, “What kind of adult calls a child a name?” when she hears about Karen’s “geek” comment. Ralph levels: “I don’t like your wife. She is just, in my opinion, not a good person.” Karen adds a, “you’re a dirtbag!” when she hears about Angie ripping up the photo of Alicia.
Since the swap, the Boss family built a pageant-stage for Clara and have reluctantly indulged in her girly fantasies. The Guastaferos have Alicia doing her own homework …well…sort of. Buthey she’s cooking brownies now, so the swap wasn’t a total loss.
And Kaylyn…Karen’s “geek”…the one whokept her cool throughout the entire process…the one who stayedtrueto herself…who calmly stood up and refused to be a beauty queen…Kaylyn proudly says she “didn’t change a bit” as a result of the swap. You go, girl!
Photo Courtesy: ABC