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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

'Wife Swap' reality debuts for Zarings

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Anticipation mixed with a little apprehension has Debby Zaring excited about her family's nationwide TV debut on Wednesday.

She and husband Jake of Fillmore participated in the television show "Wife Swap," which will air at 8 p.m. tonight on ABC. And they are planning to watch it with some friends to see how their lives translate to the small screen.

"I'm a little nervous," Debby told the BannerGraphic on the eve of the broadcast. "I'm not worried about the people who know us, or about the people who don't know us because I don't have to talk to them. But the people who only kind of know us, I wonder what they'll think."

The Zarings in reality are a hard-working Hoosier couple, raising their kids and working hard on their farm, at their jobs and supporting Jake's champion truck-pulling involvement.

Their "Swap" mates -- Corrie and Tony LaBrie of Burton, Mich., love rock and roll, tattoos and partying with their friends. He's a popular DJ at a rock radio station while she's an engineer who puts a lot of energy into her appearance.

But the whole experience is one that Debby says she will treasure.

For one thing, it resulted in the completion of a kitchen renovation that has been seven years in the making.

"The cabinets are ordered and almost ready to come. Our flooring is down. And, my husband surprised me with a hottub for our 20th anniversary," Debby said.

That renovation, and husband Jake's supposed self-absorption with truck-pulling, were highlighted in the "Wife Swap" story. Indeed, Jake and Corrie will be presenting some tense moments as she objects to the way life is in the Zaring household.

"Somebody's got to be the bad guy, and Jake can take it better than I can," Debby said, adding that anyone who knows Jake will see the drama-added value of the program. "He might be a little rough around the edges, but deep down, he's got a big, big heart."

It was Jake who talked her into doing the swap.

"It was the opportunity of a lifetime," she said. "And since we're a truck-pulling family, that's what got us onto the show. They want people who aren't ordinary."

By no means did she find the LaBrie family ordinary.

At one point she found herself watching Tony get a new tattoo, and then she attended a big party to celebrate the occasion. But she took some bad advice from one of Tony's friends. Having no prior experience with tattoos, Debby didn't realize that the process can leave the body art a little painful for a while.

She was told she had to initiate the tattoo by slapping it really hard.

"I hit it as hard as I could," she said, but she recognized the bad advice as soon as she saw his eyes water. "And I've got to give him credit, Tony didn't call me any bad names. I guess everybody has a bad friend."

As for the LaBrie children, Debby said she enjoyed 9-year-old daughter Hunter, who doesn't receive a lot of parental attention.

The two bonded by painting toenails, watching television and taking a walk around the block. All simple things, but memories Debby said she doesn't think the child makes with her own mother.

Daughter Tuesday, 15, was more of a challenge with her independent nature and lack of household chores.

"We raise our children with more structure," Debby said, talking of teens Jordan and Izaak, who are both involved in 4-H and help out around the home.

As for the actual production of the program, Debby said she really did not have a lot of one-on-one time to interact with the LaBries.

There is a liaison who takes care of the wife, as well as a camera man, director, sound person -- about six or seven people always there to capture or orchestrate moments.

"You can't hardly even go to the bathroom," Debby said laughing.

Some of the situations she was put in -- such as working out at the gym in clothing she would never wear in real life -- was a big of a downside. Since Corrie is supposed to be very fit and obsessed with looks, Debby thought a big deal was made about her being overweight.

But she was not at all intimidated by being put on a treadmill. She says she is used to hard work. And lifting the weights they handed her, not problem.

One of the interesting things she said she never thought of was the "greeking" that went on prior to filming.

Anything with labels that could be construed as advertising or product endorsement -- such as the Coca-Cola memorabilia decorating her dining room to clothing logos -- had to be removed. Even things such as ketchup bottles had pieces of black tape on the logos.

"That's something behind the scenes you don't think about," she said.

Summing up the overall experience, Zaring said she enjoyed her days in the spotlight, and she thinks at some point in the future she would like to meet up with the LaBries with out the lights, camera and action.

They might find out that swapping families was an enriching experience for all of them.


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Pretty cool. I hope that they really had fun and made the best of it. One question is, with all the covering up of brand names and logos, Did they Blur Dixie Choppers name on his truck? Im sure they would have to atleast show a clip of what they like to take part of. I've only seen bits and pieces of the show, but I look foward to watching this tonight. Once again, Congratulations!

-- Posted by Hungry&Fat on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 7:10 AM

I hope you all saw Debby on Channel 6 about 6:30 this a.m. She handled herself like a professional. No one could ever call Debbie a country bumpkin-she has nothing but class. And yes, maybe you know Jake in his bib overhauls, but, like Debby said, Jake has a big heart, and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Congratulations to the Zaring family. They will do Fillmore, Putnam County and Greencastle School Corporation-where Debbie is Cafeteria Manager-proud!

-- Posted by interested party on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 7:12 AM

that is so fun....gotta check that out tonight

-- Posted by PmL on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 8:56 AM

It is nice to see something positive in the paper.. it's better getting fame that way then by being in the paper in the scanner or the obituaries!

-- Posted by cattlequeen on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 4:18 PM

The show was good. Did they make Putnam county proud?

-- Posted by teenqueen on Wed, Feb 6, 2008, at 10:55 PM

WOW! What a great mom!You can tell they love their children! It's nice to see parents that believe in hard work and following through. I thought Jake was just hilarious, especially at the end when he talked about the dog flipping him out of the hammock!

-- Posted by ksarmywife on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 7:41 AM

The Zarings did a great job! I thoroughly enjoyed the show. We watched it with a group of folks, some of whom know Jake -- and they said "Yep, that's Jake!" But they were also quick to tell you how big his heart is, too. He's got some good kids there, too -- they came right to his defense. Debby came across as just being her sweet self.

Thanks for the evening of fun, Zaring Family!

-- Posted by MotherOfTwo on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 7:41 AM

Jordan you are a great girl, way to stick up for dad! If you know Jake at all you know he is a great guy! Great job to the whole Zaring Family!!!! I enjoyed watching and had many laughes!

-- Posted by johndeeregreen on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 9:30 AM

I really enjoyed it too. Jordan and Izzak are great kids from what I saw. I thought it was great that she tried to make such a difference in Tuesday. What patience! She held true to her word when she gave back the cell phone, and how ironic for it to ring right as she was talking about boys! That really was precious! I am so glad I watched!

-- Posted by ksarmywife on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 9:57 AM

The show was GREAT!!!! We had such a good time watching last night. I was scared to think what they might piece together....but it was awesome. I just have one question....Deb, where in the heck did you learn to do a Jello-Shot like that?????

-- Posted by horsepower on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 10:53 AM

JAKE...U DA MAN!!!! That was the only wife swap show that ever made sense!!! And the comedy...omg...Jake Ruled!!! He kept us laughing until the very end!!! from "shes clumsey", to "and how many times have YOU been married?", to "the first 3 years all we did was have sex", "i knew she was gonna cry"....and then the punching bag! the kids were awesome, and the part where the son didn't want to decorate, cause he was "straight", haha! and the daughter...so unselfish! These kids were perfect and proof of the good parents they have. Debbie...wow..what a lady!!!

They should get a reality show of their own

"The Zarings"

starring Jake, Debby, and the kids!

-- Posted by PmL on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 2:41 PM

I can't believe all the positive comments about this show. It was STUPID! I can't believe Debby would lower herself to a nut job like Jake! He needs to grow up and stop playing with his trucks! I think HE showed what a "hick" hoosier was! Debby you have done a wonderful job raising your children, by the way they act - you can tell it is all your influence! What man would want his wife to work two jobs and fully take care of the house - shows selfishness and immaturity!

-- Posted by mal on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 5:43 PM

I did think it made the family look like hicks. That is what the show is about...making fun of people. 99% of the people who watched the show don't know the Zarings and they came across as uneducated rednecks...except for the kids.

The positive comments are from people who know the Zarings...the nation does not.

-- Posted by teenqueen on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 10:12 PM

I enjoyed watching the show, and I couldn't help but laugh with Jake. Having been married to a Greencastle man for 33yrs prior to his death, it must be the water .

Jake seemed more natural to me than the guy pushing the vacuum and the Zaring kids were great.

I do have to add, my beloved husband would have said "and you paid for that?" while pointing to the woman's head.

-- Posted by JanetFla on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 7:36 AM

Hang in there,,,cuz...,,,,,Aunt Margery ,Wilma,And Uncle Bob are lovin' it!...Jimmy Tut

-- Posted by TNVOLTUT on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 8:07 PM

when did they start editing posts?

-- Posted by GR8T2BME on Wed, Feb 13, 2008, at 11:01 AM

GR8T2BME.......you have this site confused.....it is not DADDY SWAP.....it is wife swap. You should know this with the five or six husbands you have had...maybe you should have signed up for wife swap or do you no longer have a husband again???.......that's why they removed your post.....you didn't stick with the topic....which I am not surprised , as you have never stuck with anything!

-- Posted by FPBFPB on Sat, Feb 16, 2008, at 9:02 AM


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