January 04, 2012 06:10 AM by Perry Miller
Wife Swap always entertained by having two completely opposite moms switch lives for one week. Now the creator’s are bringing us Celebrity Wife Swap and on the premiere episode they are going all out by having Gary Busey, famous for his crazy off-the-wall antics, switch lives with Christian television evangelist Ted Haggard. Read on to find out what drama ensued when these opposites had to see how the other half live.
Ted Haggard made headlines in 2006 when a male escort claimed that he had an affair and did drugs with the conservative Christian evangelist from Colorado. Ted Haggard admitted to buying the drugs – but not doing them – and denied the sexual relationship ever happened. Today Ted still resides in Colorado Springs with his wife of 33 years, Gayle, and their 5 children.
The producer’s of Celebrity Wife Swap picked the polar opposite of the evangelical minister when they chose acclaimed actor, Gary Busey to swap lives with him. Gary Busey, an Oscar nominated actor for “The Buddy Holly Story”, has become well known in recent years for his wacky antics, viewed by millions on Celebrity Apprentice. Gary Busey lives with his fiance, Stephanie “the Busey Whisperer” Sampson, and young son, Luke.
When preparing to leave Stephanie seems excited and open to the new opportunity, but is concerned for whoever is moving into her house with Gary. As she packs, Gayle seems concerned that whoever she is paired with will judge her for her husband’s past and the fact that she stayed with him after the scandal.
Both women are impressed with the neatness of their new house when they walk through the door. But they soon figure out just whose homes they are in. Each wife has left a manual for the other explaining the rules and expectations of their homes. They must abide by the rules of the new house for the first half of the week, during the second half of the week they change the household to abide by the rules that they set. The eye-opening moment for Gayle is when Stephanie says that she has lived 31 lives!
When meeting the new families, both women seem open to their families for the week. While a nanny tends to Luke, Gary and Gayle spend some time together. Gayle realizes that this situation is “going to stretch me”, when Gary starts talking about his past lives.
Stephanie and Ted Haggard’s oldest daughter, Christie, get to know each other while making dinner. During the process, Christie expresses her concern that Ted will get too busy for his family again as his new church gets larger. Stephanie must then lead a women’s prayer group, which leads to some funny moments as she mispronounces common words from The Bible. Later, at a church barbecue, Stephanie observes that Ted Haggard may in fact put his congregation before his family.
Next Stephanie questions Ted Haggard on some of his moral beliefs, including his thoughts on homosexuals and marriage. Meanwhile Gary Busey is introducing Gayle to one of his Native American friend, Indian Bob, who immediately calls Gayle a “lost soul”. Gayle chooses not to have her soul cleansed and instead just watches the ceremony. At dinner, Gary continues to talk about himself and spirituality. Gayle remains calm; knowing that after the rule change Gary will be forced to get to know her and her story.
At the rule change ceremony Stephanie removes all rules while Gayle creates “Gayle-isms”. Her first rule, that she and Gary spend time together with Luke every morning and that they enjoy a meal together so Gary can learn more about her. Gary Busey, is completely moved by Gayle’s new rules and seems on board. Stephanie implements a rule that Ted spend time alone with Christie. But the tables are turned, when the rest of the family claims that it is Christie who is too busy to spend time alone with Ted. An argument ensues between Christie and youngest son, Elliott, who comes to his father’s defense. Stephanie simply sees it as proof that the family needs to spend more time together.
Gary Busey and Gayle Haggard completely enjoy their time on a walk with Luke. After all the drama that surrounded it, Ted Haggard and his daughter, Christie have a great time grabbing coffee and talking.
Gary Busey next helps Gayle prepare dinner. Over dinner the goal is for Gary to learn more about Gayle. He seems kind and interested as he quietly listens to her story. How the scandal made her a stronger woman, and made her believe more in her family, her husband and God. The Haggard’s spend the last night of Celebrity Wife Swap on a hike, enjoying the mountains of Colorado and each other.
As the wives prepare to leave their new families they are both excited to be reunited with their families. Gayle, much to Stephanie’s excitement, first talks about her love for baby Luke. Stephanie expresses empathy for the Haggard children and how the scandal affected them. But that is just the beginning, Ted Haggard then goes on and on about how they had to resurrect their lives in Colorado Springs, even going so far as to compare himself to Jesus. The sparks really start to fly when Stephanie brings up a portion of Gayle’s book in which she referred to Ted’s accuser as Satan. Which the Haggard’s deny completely. Although the couples are different, the basis of both of their beliefs is the same.
The couples part ways, more in love with their partners than before the experience. Gayle comes home with some “stories” about Gary Busey, but is excited to see her kids and her home. Stephanie is overjoyed to be reunited with Luke and to back to “normal” with Gary Busey.
Be sure to tune into the next episode which features rock star Dee Snider switching lives with rapper Flavor Flav.
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