'Wife Swap' cast Then and Now: Here’s how the reality series changed the lives of the families

'Wife Swap' cast Then and Now: Here’s how the reality series changed the lives of the families
The Blackburn family and the Starling family were featured in the hit reality series 'Wife Swap' (@buzzblackburnvo, @justinstarling/Instagram)

The 'Wife Swap' families: Where are they now?

The 'Wife Swap' families: The Beaver family (L) and Herrington family (@lovebeav, @heidimaetrix/Instagram)
The Beaver family and the Herrington family of 'Wife Swap' (@lovebeav, @heidimaetrix/Instagram)

The ABC television series 'Wife Swap' debuted in 2004 and quickly gained international attention. Based on a British series, the show rotated couples' wives every two weeks, introducing each family to a new way of life. Before they could make changes and create their own regulations, the spouses who were traded had to follow the guidelines set by the new family for a week. Drama filled the air throughout the show's first run on ABC, which lasted from 2004 until 2010. Several families have appeared on 'Wife Swap'; some have stayed under the radar, while others have managed to maintain their relevance on various platforms.

 Beaver family

The Beaver Family (@lovebeav/Instagram)
The Beaver family has a sizeable TikTok fan base (@lovebeav/Instagram)

The Beaver family defied the stereotype of the traditional family that many families on 'Wife Swap' were portrayed as. Despite only being in Season 1, the Beaver family has amassed a sizeable fan base on TikTok, where they model daughter Emily's crocheted crop tops. The family was made fun of at the time of the show for being tree-hugging hippies. Now that the roles have reversed, more than 400,000 fans are seeking how the Beaver parents are doing.

Blackburn family

The Blackburn Family (@buzzblackburnvo/Instagram)
Blackburn family patriarch Buzz Blackburn now works as a voiceover actor and composer (@buzzblackburnvo/Instagram)

The Blackburn family made an appearance in Episode 10 of Season 2. One of the Blackburn family members is now known as Buzz Blackburn but was referred to as Tony Blackburn when he first appeared on the show in 2005. As per the Screen Rant, Buzz is a voice actor and composer for voiceovers. He was awarded the Tennessee Music Award trophy for 'Best Radio DJ of the Year' in 2018. Furthermore, Buzz provided the voice of Cletus Tuckler in 'Shoot 'em Up', Iron Anvil in 'Radio Commander', and Russell in the 2020 Amazon Prime film 'Checklist'.

Stockdale family

The Stockdale Family (Truly Criminal/YouTube)
Tragedy haunts the Stockdale family (Truly Criminal/YouTube)

The Stockdales were depicted on the show as a tight-knit, highly religious family that performed in a bluegrass band. They were featured in Episode 14 of Season 4. Though their austere way of living may have drawn criticism, nothing could have prepared viewers for the shocking news of the Stockdale family in 2017. Jacob Stockdale, the second to the youngest son, killed his younger brother James and his mother before shooting himself. Jacob was taken into custody in September 2018 following his gunshot wound recovery. After many delays due to his mental instability, Jacob's 15-year to life sentence was finally carried out in April 2021.

Holland family

The Holland Family (@king_curtis10/Instagram)
Holland family member 'King Curtis' became popular among viewers  (@king_curtis10/Instagram)

The Holland family made an appearance in Episode 20 of Season 5. The 2009 season had an extremely memorable episode with 'King Curtis', a cheeky child who had a chicken nugget fetish and gained fame for saying "Bacon is good for me". The Holland family went silent for a while until 2015, when 'Pretty Little Liars' star Lucy Hale wondered where 'King Curtis' had disappeared in an Instagram post. Curtis was last reported to be pursuing a job as a welder, despite having given up on a TV career.

Guastaferro family

The Guastaferro Family (@aliciagworld/Instagram)
Guastaferro family member Alicia Guastaferro is now pursuing a career in country music (@aliciagworld/Instagram)

The Guastaferro family made an appearance in the first episode of Season 4. Alicia Guastaferro, the drama queen of the show in this episode, eventually sued the network for the way she was represented. She was presented as a pageant child whose parents gave their daughter a gift every day. Following the premiere of her family's episode, Alicia said that the show over-emphasized how spoilt she was and that the criticism she endured from viewers had left her terrified. Alicia is now pursuing a career in country music and can be found on Instagram and TikTok.

Starling family

The Starling Family (@justinstarling/Instagram)
Starling family member Justin Starling is now a professional motocross racer (@justinstarling/Instagram)

The Starling family made an appearance in Episode 14 of Season 3. In 2007, the episode featured 13-year-old Justin Starling, who was a passionate motocross racer. His parents had constructed a dirt track in their backyard for him to train. Justin's perseverance has paid off as he is now a professional motocross racer after accepting a contract in 2012. Despite his demeanor on the show, Justin maintains a sizable fan base on Instagram, where he shares videos of himself flying through the air while racing a motorcycle.

Herrington family

The Herrington Family (@heidimaetrix/Instagram)
Herrington family member Heidi Herrington uses social media to create awareness about mental health issues (@heidimaetrix/Instagram)

The Herrington family made an appearance in Episode 7 of Season 6. Heidi Herrington is another 'Wife Swap' kid who regrets appearing on the reality TV show. In a TikTok video, she talked about her experience and said that her family was represented as "the bad family," as per Daily Mail. The aftermath of the show has stoked Heidi's desire to assist others who may be viewed as lazy but are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Thus, she uses social media to spread awareness of these problems.

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