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The Real Housewives of various cities aren't always actual housewives. And precious few of the occupants of the Jersey Shore house actually hailed from the Garden State. So it's not too surprising that Celebrity Wife Swap has signed up two celebrity non-wives to appear in its upcoming summer premiere (Sunday, June 23 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC).
They are Joan Rivers (who is single, but lives at least part time in L.A. with her daughter Melissa and grandson, Cooper, 12) and Bristol Palin (also single, but living in Alaska with her sister and her son, Tripp, 4). Also not surprising is the fact that both women agreed to appear on this silly show.
Look at their track records. The inception of reality TV has been quite a blessing for Rivers, a comedienne who uses the format to crack jokes across the TV dial. (Which ones? NBC's Celebrity Family Feud in 2008, NBC's Celebrity Apprentice in 2009, TV Land's How'd You Get So Rich? in 2009 and WEtv's Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?, starting in 2011.)
And Palin, of course, has used reality TV to build upon her own fame as the daughter of Sarah Palin. First came 2010's Dancing With the Stars, where she finished in a suspiciously respectable third place (and eventually returned to compete again, in the all-star season). Later that year, she appeared in TLC's Sarah Palin's Alaska, and later helmed her own reality show, Lifetime TV's Life's a Tripp, in 2012.
For both these women, why not jump at the chance to swap lives for a week, in exchange for a big paycheck and even a little bit more fame?
Rivers should be able to bring some zest to her segments with little Tripp. Can't you just see him smearing jelly on one of her expensive pantsuits, or knocking over her 5 o'clock martini? As for Palin, she's no performer, and she'll be stepping into the life of an "always-on" entertainer. (Rivers' home doubles as a production office.) That ought to be interesting.
The show is ridiculous, but then, that's part of its charm. And Rivers and Palin are just the right stars to keep the eye-rolling momentum going!
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.