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Family Fallout

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The rural New Jerseyites and the Manhattan millionaires

When Brad Bradley’s wife, Lynn, returned from her two-week adventure with the Spolanskys, he was so overjoyed, he vowed to change “the one thing about me that bothered her. I’ll probably never drink again.” And even if Jodi Spolansky, 37, an heiress and mother of three who took up the roost at the Bradleys’ in the exchange, was regarded as lazy, she somehow made Brad, 48, who runs a wood-cutting business in rural Mays Landing, N.J., and daughters Laura, 14, and Hannah, 12, realize they need to help Lynn with chores. “I still can’t get Brad to clean the bathroom, though,” says Lynn, 46.

The Spolanskys made some changes too. Steven Spolansky, 38, president of an import company, and Jodi still do employ three nannies to look out for their kids—Griffin, 8, Gage, 6, and Peyton, 3—but Steven now makes it home at least one weeknight in time for family dinner. (When he can’t, he’ll try to help with the kids’ baths.) And Jodi, inspired by the limelight, plans to take up the acting lessons she dropped when she gave birth to Griffin. Because of the show, “I have opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”


The bikers and the New Agers

In the show’s only male swap, Zev Paiss, 46, a community developer with a strong New Age bent, tried to teach his new family—bank teller Sandy Bianchi, 40, and three teen girls Cara, 17, Samantha, 13, and Kaitlyn, 12—the beauties of organic living. Meanwhile, Sandy’s boyfriend, motorcycle shop owner Kenny Davis, introduced candy into the organic diets of Zev’s daughters Halonah, 6, and Zipporah, 5, and made Zev’s wife, Neshama, 44, work at a biker bar.

Did it take? Neshama has come to agree junk food can be okay “if 98 percent of what you eat is healthy.” And the Davises did pick up some healthful habits. After bicycling as part of the Paisses’ no-car lifestyle, “I’ve added aerobics” at the gym, says Kenny, 40. They eat more fruit, says Sandy, “but not organic. It’s go-to-the-store-and-buy-it fruit.” That’s about as much of Zev Paiss as she wants to remember. “I don’t care to have him be a part of my life.”


The career woman and the burdened housewife

Kym Young, 32, manager of a Fort Worth, Texas, car dealership, wouldn’t do Wife Swap again. Moving in with Jimmy Harris, 34, who puts up cell phone towers, and kids Zack, 13, Colten, 9, and Annalee, 6, the incharge personality missed her own family too much. But one thing she learned from Harris, a devout Christian, and his wife, Dawn, 32, a transcriptionist, was the comfort of faith. Back home with her husband, Hallmark Van Noy, 39, an aspiring actor, and daughter Baylee, 6, she has begun attending weekly church services.

Meanwhile, Dawn, who typically made Jimmy coffee at 5:30 a.m., is a bit less of a household martyr. “I used to say, ‘No, I’ve got it,’ even when I could have used help. Now I say, ‘Come on in. Do all the laundry.’ ” And Jimmy is newly appreciative: “I knew she did a lot, but I didn’t realize what a lot is.”