In what will so not be a trainwreck at all, Ted Haggard and Gary Busey are both slated to appear on a new reality show called Celebrity Wife Swap.
The Wife Swap concept isn’t new to viewers, and the celebrity version has been done in the UK before. If you haven’t caught an episode in the years it’s been aired on ABC and in syndication on Lifetime, the concept is basically this- two families with radically different profiles are selected and the wives/moms are “swapped.” (So it’s not nearly as compelling as it sounds.) For instance, a conservative, religious family who lives in the mountains are matched up with a city-dwelling, high-style materialistic clan- and predictable hijinks ensue, with everyone usually learning something and tearfully reuniting with their family of origin at the end.
The “celebrity” riff is a bit new to US audiences, and the choice of Haggard and Busey is particularly interesting. Haggard, as you may recall, was a mega-church preacher and highly regarded in the evangelical movement until a 2006 scandal involving a male escort and crystal meth. Haggard’s struggles and eventual removal from the church he founded were documented in the HBO documentary The Trials of Ted Haggard, and the ex-preacher came out as bisexual earlier this year. Gary Busey, is, of course, Gary Busey.
It seems Haggard’s trials have softened his stance on sin, as the former leader had this to say in a TLC special earlier this year:
“I’m a broken man. I know why poor people drink. I think I know why rich people drink. I think I know why they take drugs. I know why they get to a place where they’ll just have sex with anyone or anything. And that’s not the best that God has.”
Filming for the Ted Haggard/Gary Busey edition of Wife Swap began today in an interesting choice of venue- GLBT Pride Center in Colorado Springs.