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The Marriage Ref: Bette Midler, Howie Mandel, & Craig Robinson

May 13, 2010 08:02 PM by Nancy Floyd


On tonight’s new episode of NBC‘s The Marriage Ref, Tom Papa is joined by celebrity panelists, Howie Mandel, Bette Midler, and Craig Robinson. The celebs must dish out advice on disputes about texting, party attire, window blinds, and sock drawers. Keep reading for all the hilarious details…

The first couple in need of some serious marital mediation is Tommy and Tabatha, married for 8 years. Tabatha has a rare growth on the end of her wrist: her Blackberry. She can’t stop texting and emailing long enough to talk to Tommy, whether they’re at home, out to dinner, or in the bedroom. Howie Mandel thinks Tommy needs to live in the 21st century and accept Tabatha’s addiction to technology.  If he wants to talk to her, he can start texting her. Things take a disturbing turn when Howie Mandel starts talking about sexting. That’s an image I didn’t ask for. Bette Midler thinks Howie Mandel (and Tommy) are crazy and should learn how to interact like humans. Craig Robinson thinks there’s such a thing as too much texting and Tabatha is over the limit. When it’s time to vote, it’s not surprising to see Howie side with Tabatha, and Bette and Craig side with Tommy. It’s time for The Marriage Ref to make the call…or in this case, the text. He texts his decision to Tabatha and tells her to start paying attention to Tommy. Tommy wins.


Next up is same-sex couple, Don and Robert, together for 20 years. Their issue is over party clothes. Don has an issue with the way that Robert dresses, particularly when they’re going to a cocktail party. It should be noted that while Don is giving his fashion lecture, he’s wearing a sleeveless button-up shirt. He also has a mustache. Robert wants to dress the way he prefers, regardless of what other people think. Howie Mandel and Bette Midler are in agreement that Don trying to school Robert on fashion do’s and don’t's is like the blind leading the blind. Craig Robinson is just amazed at his first sighting of gay rednecks. All three panelists are unanimous in their votes for Don because, even though he’s a terrible dresser himself, he seems to be motivated by love. The Marriage Ref listens to the celebs and hands the victory to Don, as well. At this point, what does it matter? Camouflage? Sleeveless shirts? Mustaches? Tie-dye? This is a situation where nobody wins.

The third couple needing help with their crazy marriage woes is Shauna and Nato. Shauna wants to keep the window blinds open to let some sunlight into the house. Nato insists on keeping the blinds closed at all time to “protect the family from outsiders.” In case you’re wondering, the blinds aren’t made of bulletproof material or comprised of some sort of locking mechanism. They’re simple vinyl blinds. Not exactly serial killer or burglar deterrents. Craig Robinson sides with Nato on this because he’s been burgled and feels Nato’s pain. Bette Midler has also been robbed, but she thinks Nato is crazy so she sides with Shauna. Howie Mandel also agrees with Shauna, although he thinks skylights might be a good compromise.  The Marriage Ref thinks Nato’s paranoia is unwarranted so he hands the victory to an elated Shauna.


Tim and Carolene are the final couple to seek wisdom from NBC‘s The Marriage Ref. Tim has a rather unusual method for organizing his sock drawer. He labels each pair of socks with numbers and letters (for right and left). The best part about it is that Tim explains this as though it’s the most normal thing in the world. Doesn’t everyone wear their L4 and R4 socks together? Who would imagine wearing R6 and L9? That’s sheer insanity. Carolene, on the other hand, hates having to fold and pair his socks every time they come out of the laundry. Howie and Bette think Tim is a genius for discovering such a foolproof method of sock organization. Craig, however, feels like Tim’s playing a twisted game of sock bingo.

Since the sock dilemma is the last issue of the night, Tom Papa is naming Bette Midler as the honorary Marriage Ref and allowing her to make the call. She consults with her fellow panelists–who both vote in favor of Tim–before making the final decision. Bette finds a decent compromise for the couples: Tim’s method is pure genius, but Carolene shouldn’t have to sort the socks for him.


Tune in to NBC next Thursday for the season finale of The Marriage Ref featuring Demi Moore, Kelly Ripa, and Jim Breuer.

Reality TV Magazine is your source for news on The Marriage Ref. For more info, check out SirLinksALot: The Marriage Ref or visit our message boards.

Photo Courtesy of NBC

Topics: NBC Reality TV Shows, The Marriage Ref |

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