Vanilla Ice Taps Amish Community to Extend His 15 Minutes of Fame

Vanilla Ice AmishI have to hand it to Vanilla Ice: by all rights, the guy should have completely dropped off the face of the pop culture planet back in, say, 1995. You know, right around the time he grew those awkward dreadlocks and released a critically-panned album that he later explained with the following searing observation: "A lot of the record is drug oriented because I was doing a lot of drugs at the time." Ice -- real name Robert Matthew Van Winkle -- has actually gone on to diligently carve out a sort of ongoing amount of fame for himself over the years, and thanks to the magic of reality television, he's back in the spotlight today with a brand new invention.

Well ... sort of. If a show on the DIY Network can accurately be described as a "spotlight." (Maybe it's a creatively-renovated, energy-efficient spotlight?) Van Winkle's new show is called Vanilla Ice Goes Amish, and it involves the onetime rapper living with an Amish community in Ohio to learn how they do construction.


If you're thinking that Vanilla and Amish are two strange tastes that are likely going to taste strange together, that's probably the exact reaction producers are hoping for. Because there are two ways to sell reality shows: one is when you make something legitimately compelling, and the other is when you just throw random words and concepts together until it sounds so outrageously weird, you have to tune in. "Celebrities attempting to do some sort of sport that typically takes years of dedicated training," for instance. Or anything with the Kardashians.

Van Winkle's new show sure seems like it belongs in that latter category, but actually, it's not QUITE as bizarre as it sounds. While he's been doing all sorts of oddball reality shows in recent years (The Surreal Life, Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, Dancing on Ice, and Celebrity Boxing, to name a few), he's had a home renovation series on the DIY network since 2011. It's called The Vanilla Ice Project, and apparently it's based on his legitimate experience with home improvement and flipping. It's been so successful, in fact, he's launched his own website to provide real estate guidance for fans of the show.

(Actual quote from the site, which you HAVE to read in a Troy McClure voice: "My name is Vanilla Ice and you probably know me as a best-selling hip-hop artist. But what you may not know is I’ve been making rock star cash with real estate investing for more than a decade.")

Anyway, the new show is all about him learning construction from skilled Amish craftsmen as he builds a barn on the largest Amish settlement in the U.S. in Holmes County, Ohio. I'm sure hilarious hijinks sandwiched in between instructional techniques will ensue!

No word, sadly, on whether Ice will also be learning candlemaking so he can more accurately light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle.

What do you think about Vanilla Ice's new venture? Will you be watching?

Image via DIY

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