A CHAMPION BODYBUILDER AND HER "PERFECT" FAMILY
SWAP LIVES WITH A FAMILY OF LITTLE PEOPLE WHO ADVOCATE
AN AVERAGE LIFESTYLE, ON ABC'S "WIFE SWAP"
This week in "Allemon/Johnson," a trophy-winning professional bodybuilder who encourages competition and demands perfection from her family swaps lives with a family of little people who refuse to take life too seriously and strive to be average, on "Wife Swap," MONDAY, JULY 9 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Rebroadcast. OAD 1/15/07)
Each week from across the country, two families with very different values are chosen to take part in a two-week long challenge. The wives from these two families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover just what it's like to live another woman's life. It's a mind-blowing experiment that often ends up changing their lives forever.
For Ohio bodybuilder Melissa Johnson (33), her husband, Scott (35), and their three boys, Kane (13), Kohl (12) and Kolin (10), perfection is the only thing worth achieving in life. As the reigning Ms. Northern Natural USA, Melissa is obsessed with working out, appearances and winning. She spends hours in front of the mirror pumping iron and flexing her muscles. Teaching her children that perfection is everything, she demands that they get straight A's, encourages competition between the boys, and even sets out "perfect" clothes for them to wear each day. Scott constantly threatens to remove everything from the boys' room if they come home with bad grades. They are seldom rewarded for their hard work and long for simple items like cell phones. Additionally, Scott admits he feels inferior to the men in Melissa's fitness competitions and constantly competes with her about everything in life.
Melissa travels to the Michigan home of the Allemons, where Diane (44), her husband, Bernie (38), and their two kids, Ben (14) and Allie (12), scorn the idea of perfection and prefer to celebrate being average. They go with the flow and try to enjoy each day without stress. Bernie uses his small stature to his advantage and takes side jobs in entertainment and promotions, donning costumes to play leprechauns and sport mascots. Diane believes beauty is on the inside, and thinks life is too short to "sweat the small stuff." She never puts pressure on her kids to do well in school, sets no bedtime and saves the household chores for another day. Bernie motivates his kids using money, offering 70 bucks for an A, and even 50 for a C. The couple have a close romantic relationship and teach their kids that average is the most that they need to strive for.
In the first week of the swap, Melissa trades in her trophies and sweats for silly costumes that poke fun at life, and has a hard time handling a family with no competitive edge. Meanwhile Diane takes Melissa's place in the Johnson home, where perfection is everything and no one plays unless they're playing to win.
In the second week of the swap, when the wives change the rules and turn the tables, Melissa teaches the Allemons to strive for perfection and forces them to be competitive with each other. The family must work together to get things done around the house, and Bernie must learn how to be a father to his son, not just his hangout buddy. Meanwhile, Diane removes sports, competition and schedules from the Johnsons' lifestyle, breaks out the costumes and forces them to stop taking themselves and their images so seriously.
At the end of the swap, when the couples are reunited, will the Johnsons learn to ease up on their kids and let a little fun into the house? Will the Allemons learn that pushing your kids to succeed could help them later in life?
"Wife Swap" is an RDF USA production. It was created by Stephen Lambert and is executive-produced by Wendy Roth and Stephen Lambert of RDF Media ("Faking It" and "Junkyard Wars") and Michael Davies of Embassy Row ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire"). Cristin Cricco, Stephanie Schwam Adams and Mike Gamson are the co-executive producers.
"Wife Swap" is broadcast with Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. This program carries a TV-PG,L parental guideline.