Published June 21, 2013
LOS ANGELES – Talk about life being a Tripp!
Single mom Bristol Palin recently left the rural confines of her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, to trade places with reality star Melissa Rivers on the season premiere of ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap.”
The teen abstinence advocate had a chance to live the life of a busy Hollywood mogul when she moved in with Rivers’ mother, famed comedian Joan Rivers, into their sprawling Los Angeles mansion.
“We just come from very different lifestyles–very, very, very, different lifestyles,” Bristol told FOXNews.com exclusively. “We both got to live kind of in each other’s shoes for a little bit. I come from a teeny-tiny town. They go do big things and that’s just not me. I like my own simple life, I like my little house and just doing my little daily routine.”
Despite some rocky moments, Bristol managed to bond with the matriarch of the Rivers clan.
“I think Joan is just awesome,” declared Bristol. “I think at the end of the day, her family is the most important thing to her, just like with me–my family the most important thing to me.
While in Los Angeles, Bristol got a chance to act as executive producer of E!’s snarky style show, “Fashion Police.”
“I kinda do Melissa’s job, I got a glimpse of what she does, and she does do a lot,” admitted Bristol. “They have a lot of shows and a lot of projects going on. Definitely not something that really interests me, but it was fun to be able to see her lifestyle and her projects and what they do on a daily basis.”
While Bristol has been on her fair share of reality shows, she has been working at a local dermatologist’s office for the past four years. “I’ve got an awesome boss here,” said Bristol. “Unfortunately, that’s not on “Wife Swap” due to HIPAA laws–you can’t come film in a medical facility. So, unfortunately, Melissa won’t be doing my job on the swap, but I do have a job and I have been working here for a long time.”
Bristol–who was perhaps America’s most famous teen mom before the title was usurped by culinary student-turned porn star Farrah Abraham–doesn’t think much of the former MTV’s star foray into adult entertainment. “I don’t read into much gossip sites,” said Bristol. “But I think on something like a sex tape, its just buying into all that crap. I just feel bad that that’s what she thinks she has to do to earn a living.”
Like Abraham, both Bristol Palin and Melissa Rivers are single mothers, so Palin’s sister Willow and Rivers’ mother Joan stood in as the “husband” role during the swap. Melissa, who maintains a very structured schedule for her 12-year-old son, Cooper, helped Bristol and Willow instill some discipline into the Palin household, helping to tame an admittedly “exuberant” four-year-old Tripp.
“Melissa definitely gave me some good pointers,” shared Bristol. “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 how to raise a boy by yourself. I think that no matter what type of background you have, you are trying to raise a boy, you know? There’s a lot of things that you can have in common.”
Bristol has had a well-documented, turbulent relationship with Tripp’s father, Levi Johnston, who recently married Sunny Oglesby, the mother of his second child. “It’s always going to be a work in progress,” Bristol said of the state of her and Levi’s relationship. “In terms of co-parenting, I had Tripp when I was 18. I think it takes a lot longer for a male to grow up and want to be an active parent. I’m just thankful that I have an awesome, supportive family.”
Bristol loves family so much, she’s determined to expand hers. “I can’t wait to have more kids,” beamed Bristol. “I can’t wait to be married and have more kids, definitely! I want a big family. I probably want four, so maybe three more.”
An expanded family may come sooner than later. Bristol, who is reportedly dating professional snowboarder Joey Junker, kept mum about her love life (“I think I’m just going to keep my relationship status private–I’ve learned not to talk about it.”), but allowed that dating as a single mom isn’t always easy.
“My son’s four and wants all of my attention,” explained Bristol. “So, it’s challenging trying to find someone who would want to date a single mom. I have fun in what I do, and Tripp’s always by my side. He comes first in my life and always will.”
Tripp is especially close to his grandfather, Todd Palin.
“My dad’s been there since day one,” said Bristol. “I mean, my dad was there, helping me change diapers in the middle of the night and was there when Tripp took his first steps. So, he’s been there since day one and he is that male role model that Tripp needs in his life. I’m very thankful to have my dad.”
Bristol has not yet seen the “Celebrity Wife Swap” episode, but she’s bracing herself for the premiere on Sunday night. “Um, I’m not that nervous,” she laughed. “I mean, there’s nothing that I did in it that I think I would regret. Hopefully, nothing will be taken out of context, but it was all in good fun and I know that this is a good family show, and that’s why I agreed to do it.”
There may even be a Palin/Rivers reunion in the future. “I know that we’ll stay in touch, for sure,” said Bristol. “I think that they know that they’re welcome to come visit us in Alaska. They’re welcome to come moose hunting if they want to go moose hunting!”
"Celebrity Wife Swap" is back and all-new on Sundays this summer, kicking things off SUNDAY, JUNE 23 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on ABC.