If you thought you could no longer be shocked by reality TV's sensationalism, then wait until the piece de resistance airs. Two of the most controversial and arguably eccentric men in modern infamy will tag team televisions across the country in "Celebrity Wife Swap." Former Evangelical preacher and confessed male prostitute patron, Ted Haggard, will swap wives on the show with actor turned disturbing reality darling, Gary Busey. An unrivaled brawl of outrageousness is to be expected.
Most confounding is the two men still have significant others willing to costar in their circus act lives. Apparently the adage that there is someone for everyone is undoubtedly true. The 67-year-old actor has an infant son with girlfriend Steffanie Sampson. Sampson is presumably the partner Busey will be swapping for Haggard's dutiful wife and mother of his five children, Gayle.
Also, besides their love of reality and partner swapping, Busey and Haggard share an interest in religion. After the sex scandal that led to Haggard losing his post as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, he was also dismissed as senior pastor of the New Life church, which he founded. The resilient Haggard regrouped and founded the nondenominational church St. James in Colorado, where he is again a pastor. Busey, an alumnus of such reality hits as "The Apprentice" and "Celebrity Rehab," is a born-again Christian who ministers with Promise Keepers.
Haggard and his wife are no strangers to reality shows either. They appeared in a TLC documentary about Haggard's aforementioned scandal and in a 2009 episode of "Divorce Court." The couple has also made several talk show appearances and Haggard was scheduled to make a cameo in a pro-abstinence sex comedy.
The initial "Wife Swap" episode shoot was set for last Thursday at the GLBT Pride Center in Colorado Springs. It was cancelled by the production company after its details were leaked. No word on what Busey and Haggard will be getting up to instead.
The show's premise consists of infusing a shock to a family's dynamic by switching matriarchs from very different background. Drama ensues as all parties try to find their bearings on unfamiliar ground. Sometimes the swap even leads to family issues being addressed or resolved by the resident wife. The series does not include sex as part of the swapping arrangement.
"Wife Swap" was originally produced in the UK and premiered on the country's Channel 4 in 2003. The following year, it was introduced across the pond on ABC. An air date for the Haggard-Busey episode has not been announced but TV gawkers are sure to tune in for the ultimate clash of reality titans.
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- Ted Haggard
- Gary Busey