“Celebrity Wife Swap” this evening features the wife exchange between Gary Busey and Ted Haggard, but who wants their wife back? Last night, it was Tracey Gold and Carnie Wilson who basically exchanged husbands as they were the wives who made the switch for a week and were all too ready to get back home; will it be the same this evening for the celebrity males who send their wives into different camps? We’ll soon find out as this episode of “Celebrity Wife Swap” gets underway.
First, let’s meet the wives of the celebrities. Steffanie Sampson is engaged to Gary Busey and they share a little boy, Luke. Although they are not married, she states she wears a wedding ring because they are in spirit and feel they have been together in past lives more than thirty times…I get a slight impression both of these individuals might be a few cards short of a full deck, but moving on. Gary had a terrible accident with his motorcycle which left him with a brain injury; he actually died and feels he has seen the “other side.” Steffanie is spiritual and believes in reincarnation even though she is of the Jewish faith.
Ted Haggard’s wife, Gayle, stayed with him through the horrific public scandal in 2006 when he was accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a gay prostitute and the purchase of drugs. She has written a book about the experience. They have five children with one being a special needs son and the oldest daughter, Christy (30), still lives at home. Although they have moved back to Colorado Springs and started a new church called the St. James Church where Ted is the pastor, things still seem a bit “tense.”
After the wives read the household manuals, they meet the respective husbands and family. Steffanie immediately takes time to sit down and get to know the Haggard’s as they talk about the scandal. She fears there is great sadness within these lovely people as well as anger hidden behind fake smiles. As she steps into Gale’s shoes, she needs to facilitate a women’s group the first night where she stumbles but with Ted’s help, they get through it with the assistance of a lot of humor.
Gayle, on the other hand, gets off to a rocky start with Gary as he sits and tells her about the “Busey-ism” book he is writing where he takes word abbreviations and creates a definition for the new word such as “OK” which he says means “Only Kidding.” He wants Gayle to experience a spiritual cleansing so he invites a Native American friend over but Gayle balks and wishes to just observe…so much for having an open mind!
While Gayle is contending with Gary in Los Angels, Steffanie is helping host a church BBQ but takes time to talk individually with each of the Haggard children to find out how the problems of the past affected them. When the rules change, Steffanie takes the opportunity to make sure the fractured Haggard family mends by giving daughter Christy time alone with her father through a mandatory tea time and has arranged for the family to go hiking at the Garden of the Gods. She is applauded by the children for bringing the family closer than it has been in years.
At the rule change in the Busey house, Gayle creates “Gayle-isms” with a special one for G-A-R-Y which is defined as “Genuinely Appreciated and Respected – Yeah!” The sentiment brings Busey to tears before they go out for a walk together with Luke. In an effort to get Gary to communicate and think about others besides himself, Gayle cooks a dinner where they talk about what happened during the scandal.
At the reunion, Gary is a little over dramatic when the Haggard’s focus on what they have been through and Steffanie wants clarification from Gayle if she was referring to the gay accuser as Satan. She is told that “Satan” could be anything from drugs to an incarnation of evil but it is the resurrection of the spirit which is the center of the spiritual realm which both families wholeheartedly agree with. In the end, both husbands welcomed wives back with more than open arms; they had a new appreciation for the women and both couples were very enthusiastic about participating in the exchange.
Image courtesy of ABC