The Biggest Loser, Marriage Ref-style

Last night, my husband Jamie and I battled it out over his pumpkins on the premiere of NBC’s The Marriage Ref .

Sadly, we didn’t win. I honestly did not go into it thinking we would but of course, I always hoped because that’s why we did the show. Bills were piling up and my knee surgery keeps getting pushed back. It’s not very often you get a 1 in 3 chance of winning $25,000.

But as the show progressed and the audience and celebrities were very pro-pumpkin, I thought, “We have a real stab at this!”

Oh, how great was our fall.

Some observations:

*From the offset, Jamie was beloved,I was a fly on the wall and I was perfectly happy about that. I’m usually the one who has the spotlight and it was lovely to see my dear husband shine on a national stage (even if it was regarding my big, orange nemesis). Strangely enough, he talked a lot more than I did during our segment but was edited down for time.

  • Walking across the stage, sitting down and looking at legends Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais and Julianne Moore was almost an out-of-body experience. At one point I asked myself, “Is this really happening,” particularly when Jerry serenaded Jamie with ‘The Pumpkin Man” (to the tune of “The Muffin Man.”)
  • The best line of the night was when Jerry Seinfeld asked Jamie why big pumpkins were so ugly. My hilarious husband responded that it’s not a beauty contest and it’s all about the weight. Some are beautiful orange while others “look a little more British” (and he pointed to Brit Ricky Gervais), to which Ricky responded, “You did not just say that!” The audience went wild and Jamie got one of the biggest laughs of the night.
  • Jamie ended up winning our “argument” but if the celebrities hadn’t been so starstruck by The Great Pumpkin, they would have realized they were siding with me. My whole premise was moderation, not to quit growing. But I guess they thought a vote against The Great Pumpkin would be a vote against mankind.

(Backstage with my fellow losers)

  • After the celebrities sided with Jamie, we had a few minutes backstage to work together on Jamie’s closing argument. Our make-up crew was astounded because they’d never seen a couple come together like that before. I harbored no bitterness about the celebrities siding with Jamie–I just wanted the $25,000!
  • The other husbands and I waited just off-stage as Jamie and the two wives gave their closing arguments. The feeling was so electric, the celebrities were so pro-pumpkin that even the man who ended up winning congratulated me prior to when the audience vote was announced.
  • With a build-up like that, when we learned Jamie did not win we weren’t angry, we weren’t sad, we were just in absolute shock.
  • After the announcement, we all came back on stage to meet the celebrities and pose for pictures, something they never stayed around to do. A stage-hand had my camera, missed the group shot and took even worse pictures than I did of the entire team.

  • We drowned our sorrows by hitting Times Square that night. Though we had a good time walking around, we returned to our hotel starving because we didn’t want to pay $15 for a bowl of soup at T. G. I. Fridays. Especially since we’d just lost $25,000. :)

Even though we didn’t win, are we glad we did it?

You betcha. I can’t tell you how many friends have contacted me, excited to see us on NBC’s promotional blitz. I’ve worked on news sets for years (I was a broadcast journalism major in college) but this was a completely different experience. The entire process was frenzied, hilarious and fascinating. Getting that kind of access was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Well, at least until my favorite show The Amazing Race comes calling…..


In case you missed it:

Battling it Out at Marriage Ref’s Auditions
Who Was the Rightest of the Right–A behind-the-scenes glimpse at The Marriage Ref
The Marriage Ref: In Pictures
The Ambulance, The Woman and The Wardrobe
The Good Ol’ Boys of Pumpkin Growing

Also, check-out Jamie’s pumpkin blog at He has named his two pumpkins Jerry and Ricky in honor of The Marriage Ref. :)

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