Navarro and Electra: 'Till Death (or Divorce or Something Better) Comes Along

Reality TV Claims Another Marriage; Call Nick and Jessica to Commiserate


July 18, 2006 —  Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro turned their 2003 wedding into MTV's "Till Death Do Us Part," which, in syndication, may be renamed "'Till Cancellation, Separation or Something Better Comes Along."

Perhaps if the reality show had lasted into a second season, we would know how this match made on basic cable could have failed. Electra's publicist, Brit Reese, said nothing more on Monday than the couple is "amicably separating."

But do we need to know much more than the obvious? Two celebrity exhibitionists sold their wedding to reality TV producers, and when the production faded to black, so did the love.

Maybe if viewers had kept gawking, Electra and Navarro would still be giving them something to gawk at, but alas …

'Life's Not Worth Living If the Camera Isn't Rolling'

We might have seen this coming. "Life is not worth living unless there's a camera around … for me," Electra told reporters at a 2004 news conference, explaining how she and her guitarist husband planned to give MTV a no-holds-barred, behind-the-scenes look at celebrity marriage.

"Till Death Do Us Part" — which lives on in DVD — documents just how eccentric the 34-year-old former "Baywatch" babe and her estranged 39-year-old guitarist husband could be. The first episode featured the couple joyfully posing like cadavers at a morgue, lying nude on autopsy tables, for a picture to decorate party invitations.

Another episode featured Electra's bridal shower, which included a blow-up doll and a dwarf stripper. Other party highlights explain why the DVD got its "explicit content" warning label.

In the show's climactic moment, viewers got to see Electra walk down the aisle to "Here Comes the Bride" and exchange vows in a ceremony officiated by a woman who called herself a "transformational clairvoyant."

"I never thought I'd be with a man who looks in the mirror more than I do," the ecstatic bride said as the big moment drew near. "And I love it."

The lovefest continued with self-written vows. Navarro declared that he'd come to love hip-hop and the cracking sound of soda cans opening, thanks to his beloved, while she proclaimed that he had showed her the way to appreciate frozen yogurt.

At the reception, celebrity guests — including Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale — joined in an impromptu jam of "Ballroom Blitz," while the wedding couple later danced to Sade's "By Your Side."

First Marriage Blues a Romp With Rodman

Strange as it was, this kitschy TV wedding was a huge step for Electra, whose previous marriage came in 1999, after partying all night in Las Vegas with former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman.

Famous as he was for his rebounding, the rainbow-haired Rodman didn't bounce back all that well after this quickie wedding. He woke up the next day claiming that he didn't even remembering the ceremony, and sought an annulment just 10 days later.

Electra's split with Navarro is an altogether different fiasco. This was no one-night stand. They were introduced by her hairdresser and had dated for three years before tying the knot. She had previously dated Tommy Lee of Motley Crue and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, but Navarro seemed much more to her than just another rocker boyfriend.

"I've always been fond of people that, you know, are talented and can make music," Electra told ABC News Radio in 2004, professing the love of her estranged husband. "I admire him for being a rock star, but he's also a very sweet and beautiful person."

"He taught me how to communicate and be honest with my feelings and not to keep any secrets."

Of course, Navarro and Electra essentially sold their wedding to MTV, just as Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey had created a sensation with their reality show "Newlyweds," and like them, they're now headed to divorce court.

Make all the jokes you want about Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, but that "Chaotic" couple may yet go down as reality TV's Ozzie and Harriet, at least if you don't count the Osbournes.

One more thought on "'Till Death Do Us Part," the DVD highlights a very contemporary problem: In the age of the camcorder nearly every marriage is digitally recorded, and that potentially leaves every divorcee with a very sad souvenir on his or her bookshelf, just waiting to depress them, unless destruction of that recording is stipulated in a prenuptial agreement.

Luckily for those of us who don't play out intimate moments of our lives on TV, DVDs that document failed marriages are not usually available at Blockbuster and Netflix.

If you're looking for a more upbeat rental, may I suggest the DVD workout series "Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease" .

Buck Wolf is an entertainment producer at "The Wolf Files" is published Tuesdays.