“After his chart-topping hit, ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ Rob turned his focus on a new hobby, buying land and flipping houses.” for a new home improvement show on the DIY network.
The series, beginning Thursday on the DIY, is not just another paean to celebrity failure. No; it is instead a tribute to ingenuity, to turning lemons into lemonade, to get up and go, when you get up and go to Home Depot. The show follows Mr. Van Winkle through a single renovation over the course of 10 episodes as he overhauls, corner by corner, a 7,000-square-foot house on a lake in Palm Beach, Fla. — a house that doesn’t say Addison Mizner as much as it says boom-era Gothic revival McMansion down on its luck. Every appliance and fixture had been stripped out of its socket by its desperate owners. Mr. Van Winkle scooped the place up for $429,000 as it was headed toward foreclosure. He hopes to turn it around for sale at about a million bucks.
It isn’t by whim that you wind up earning a living with jackhammers when you once had the fastest-selling hip-hop album around. But this is no downfall. This resurrection is holy. As he proves in “The Vanilla Ice Project,” Mr. Van Winkle has talent. The next time you renovate, you will dream of Ice and what he can do with bricklaying and budgets.
Impressively conversant on the subject of landscaping, he is a big proponent of curb appeal and sets about in the initial episodes dressing up the house’s front and backyards. He is a walking lesson plan in horticultural fact: “Every time you see a coconut palm, you know you’re south of Orlando,” he tells us. He also knows how to deal with alkaline issues when they come up with plants. “We’ll change the pH levels of what’s going on down here with these roots and pretty much remedy this problem,” he announces to one of his sidekicks. He likes colorful perennials and landscape lighting for walkways, and believes that foxtails aren’t good near a pool.
This is the kind of knowledge base that ought to be rewarded at a premium. If someone is going to profit from the depressed South Florida real estate market, let it be Vanilla Ice, a man who can get his hands full of grout and call the right electricians to lay down the feeder cable.
By GINIA BELLAFANTE
Published: October 13, 2010 http://tv.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/arts/television/14ice.html?_r=2&hpw#
Until next time keep rockin'
The 0800 Jukebox crew.