We fully expected craziness from the lastest episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap" -- when Mark McGrath, his wife Carin, and their two-year-old twins switched households with Coolio, his girlfriend Mimi (who does eeeeverything around their house), and her three kids.
And it did get dramatic. Between Mark refusing to stop catering to his twins' every need, Carin scrubbing the toilet while Coolio was snoring, and Mimi informing Coolio at the post-swap summit, "Our relationship sucks, it really does," we spent a lot of the episode watching through our fingers.
Everyone survived (well, almost…more on that in a second), and nobody broke any bones ice-skating (more on that, too), but we compiled a list of the nuttiest moments along the way, including the biggest twist of all at the end…
1. The McGraths' boy twin, Lydon, won't go to sleep without Mark, so Mark and Carin had been sleeping in separate bedrooms for five months.
2. Mimi told Mark that she works as an exotic dancer in Vegas, and he seemed excited at the common ground: "I've probably done business with you!" Not only that, he said it in front of Carin's father-in-law, who lives with them.
3. Even the voice-over thought Coolio was too lazy. As viewers watched Carin get the kids ready for school on 2.5 hours of sleep, the V.O. sarcastically observed that Coolio was still in bed "despite having 'only' 10 hours of sleep." Hilarious! …Well, not for Carin. Or Mimi. Things didn't seem likely to improve given Coolio's, um, "vintage" attitudes about homemaking. He toodled off to play golf while spouting sexist clichés like "a woman's work is never done" and saying he didn't feel bad that Carin spent the day doing chores on no sleep.
4. Mimi nicely whispered to Lydon to wait a minute before banging on a xylophone, and when Lydon obeyed her, Mark acted like she'd just split the atom: "Does that work?!"
5. Mark violated the no-hovering rule repeatedly and had to have a timeout in a tiny yellow chair, while wearing a sparkly propeller beanie.
6. Carin made lunch for Coolio and tried to get to know him, and if she had hung in with it a little longer -- or if he had -- she might have broken through. Coolio admitted to being a "mama's boy" and said he didn't know his father well, because Dad spent most of Coolio's childhood in the penitentiary. But soon he shies away from the topic, calling Carin confrontational and leaving the table. It's not an excuse for his standoffish behavior, but it explains a lot about his reluctance to bond with the kids (and about Carin's savvy in spotting it).
7. Carin did get him to consent to join a family ice-skating outing. He complained endlessly about it and called it "a Caucasian sport," but once he had some pads on, he had a good time.
8. Mark dreaded obeying Mimi's rule about putting Lyden to sleep, alone, in his own bed. We don't blame Mark; sleep-training is a notorious nightmare. Imagine our surprise -- and our attempts to figure out how long it really took sans editing -- when Mimi stuck the landing in, no joke, three minutes. On the other hand, Mimi obviously doesn't mess around. Maybe she really did break the kid of a bad habit that quickly.
9. At the summit, Carin was a little defensive about not letting her kids grow up, but quickly got over it. Mimi, meanwhile, was just plain over it -- with Coolio, thanks to seeing how present and involved Mark was with his family. Coolio tried to act hard, but soon admits straight out that he'd "been slacking, straight up," and that he got stuck in single-man, "selfish" mode. Great, there's hope!
10. …Not so fast. Six weeks after the show, Mark and Carin had kept working on things like not hovering, toilet-training, and family dinners. Mimi, having seen insufficient effort on Coolio's part, packed up her kids and broke things off with him, which is too bad…for him. We think she's got a great future as a life coach.