Bristol Palin was very much a fish out of water during the season premiere of Celebrity Wife Swap on Sunday, June 23. The single mother — to son Tripp, 4 — left her humble Wasilla, Alaskan abode for a more upscale, fast-paced lifestyle in Hollywood when she swapped lives with red carpet veteran Melissa Rivers.
Since both Bristol and Melissa are single mothers (divorced from John Endicott, Melissa is raising 12-year-old son Cooper by herself), Willow Palin (Bristol's 18-year-old sister) and Joan Rivers (Melissa's 80-year-old mom) subbed in as the respective households' caregiver.
Both women had quite an adjustment to make — the Rivers' lavish Tinseltown lifestyle was a far cry from Bristol's more conservative, simple small-town life.
Ultimately, however, the exchange wasn't quite as explosive as viewers might have imagined, though there were definitely some unexpectedly emotional moments.
At the final roundtable at the end of the episode, Rivers matriarch Joan teared up as she admitted that she'd wrongly pre-judged Bristol because of her political beliefs.
"I learned nobody should judge anybody from where they come, or who they're related to, good or bad," she said, wiping away tears as she addressed Bristol. "You are your own person. And … I adore you. I just think you're great. I just had the best time with you. I think you're terrific."
The feelings were mutual. In an interview with Fox News prior to the season premiere, Bristol admitted that she, too, learned a lot from the notoriously outspoken comedienne and Fashion Police host.
"I think Joan is just awesome," she said. "I think at the end of the day, her family is the most important thing to her, just like with me — my family is the most important thing to me."
While the legendary comic was forging bonds with 22-year-old Bristol, her daughter Melissa, 45, was busy trying to rein in Bristol's son.
And, ultimately, Melissa was able to give Bristol some valuable parenting advice. "She's a single mom to a boy as well, so there were some good things that she got to tell me — some secrets on how to discipline and hoe to raise a boy by yourself," Bristol told Fox News.
Bristol and her former flame (and Tripp's father) Levi Johnston had a huge falling out when they broke up in 2010. He has since Sunny Oglesby, the mother of his second child.
"I think that no matter what type of background you have, you are trying to raise a boy, you know?" she continued. "There's a lot of things that you can have in common."
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