reality tv

Mamamia recaps Wife Swap: Yes, there's a family of 10 who live on a bus and "unschool".

Oh hello. 

One of the most problematic shows on television is back, so you can bet we’re watching with our jaws well and truly open. 

Our eyes adjust to this particular brand of trash as chandeliers, boats and extreme abs appear on screen. Ahh, this must be the first lady-wife-lady. 

She is called Tenille, and she has approximately 96 children, and they all attend private school when they’re not getting PT trained with a man who we’re sure was on Prison Break.

 They live in a shiny white house, which means we know that the other lady-wife-lady is going to live in one of the following: A swamp, a tent, a shoe.

Alas, it seems she lives on a bus. Close one. Oh, and she’s called Angeline.

In this bus lives a mum, a dad, a bird and eight children. Which seems like it would be super serene. 

“We started homeschooling them about four years ago, and that slowly moved to unschooling," Angeline tells the camera. 


Now we’re familiar with the families, it’s time to traumatise these lady-wife-ladies by throwing them well out of their comfort zone.

Let’s start with Tenille, because she is not mentally prepared for what she’s about to see. 


“They don’t live on a bus, do they?” she pleads to camera. Oh sweetie…

Our first look inside the bus is, er, pleasant? Tenille seems rightly traumatised to learn there are 460 children and 12 birds living in this vehicle, and approximately zero of those residents have cleaned up.

Well this is... lovely.  Tenille hunts down the ‘master bed’ and counts out the various other bunk beds to try to figure out if she’ll be looking after a small army of children. 

'The master suite'. In the final stack of bunk beds she spots what looks to a pile of unwashed laundry underneath. 


Oh wait, that’s another bed. For a human child. 

 Current headcount: 461 children.

Meanwhile, free-spirited Angeline is counting chandeliers in her new shiny home and reviewing her ‘handover manual’ from Tenille. In this, she reads the word ‘schedule’ too many times and her face does this.



Tenille, on the other hand, is learning all about unschooling and can be seen twitching with deep, deep despair. But, there are more pressing investigations afoot.


And this is a very fair question that we absolutely do not want to know more about. Thank you. 

Beyond the 461 children lurking in every crevice of this bus, there is another monumental cockblock for the family, and that’s the sheets.

“I can smell them from here, and I know she can’t fit those sheets in their washing machine.”

The washing machine, we must note, looks like this: 

No. No. No. No. NO. 

We bet Tenille is already missing her shiny little cherubs who are, at this very moment, practicing their spelling of cleaning up words.


Not spotted: Dust, vacuum and jet-wash your childhood away. The lady-wife-ladies have a major point of difference when it comes to education. Angeline believes she should be giving her kids the choice to do what they believe is right for them. And as they are kids, they believe throwing pebbles and picking their noses is the right choice for them. Fair.

Tenille believes that giving kids the choice to do what they want to do actually takes away their chances to do a lot of things.

And this is all very important and makes us analyse our own lives and blah, blah, BLAH. But that’s certainly not what we’re here for so can we just get back to seeing rank pictures of bus bunks please?!


Now the lady-wife-ladies have suffered through living by each other’s rules, it’s time for them to rule the roost again.

Obviously the first thing Tenille wants to action is a big bus clean. To which husband Bob says, “I think that’s a big bloody waste of time”.

Excuse me, sir. Have you temporarily misplaced your eyeballs? 

We learn during this big bus clean from one of the squirts that, “We haven’t cleaned the bus in five years, and we didn’t even have the bus five years ago, so we have never cleaned it”. 



Oh, and that the none sheets haven’t been washed in over a year. 

The big clean actually goes down a lot smoother than Angeline’s plan to get the shiny children out and about in nature, so they can learn there, rather than in school.

For the daily maths lesson, Angeline asks the shiny children to estimate the height of a tree just by looking at it. 

The shiny children do not respond. They stare. They shine. They are judging the heck out of their new mum.


The lady-wife-ladies prepare to head home (via their fiery catch up), and we have one question: How did Tenille get ready to this degree in a bus with 461 children and 12 birds? 



It’s fiery catch up time, and we are all well aware within the first 30 seconds that these two lady-wife-ladies will never be friends. They disagree on approximately everything and settle on the conclusion that democracy will never be allowed in Tenille’s shiny house. 

The couples go back to their respective homes and seem to slip right back into their way of doing life. So, unschooling for the bus fam and nada democracy for the shiny people. 

BUT, there is a plot twist that precisely no one saw coming but everyone is delighted to hear: Angeline has bought a new washing machine for the bus. 

We’ll miss you, bucket of s**t.


Feature Image: Channel 7 + Mamamia.