Knock, Knock. Who's There? Vanilla Ice, Back Home to Give One Couple's Room a Makeover.

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Robbie Van Winkle prepares to ambush a Northwest Dallas couple who entered a DIY Network extreme room makeover contest.
The email said to meet at the Walnut Hill Recreation Center, corner of Midway and Walnut Hill, at 12:15 sharp. "Look for the Rolls-Royce." (A borrowed 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, if you must know, and you must.) That, said the missive, is where I would find Robbie Van Winkle this afternoon. And, sure enough, there he was -- a few minutes late, but only a few minutes. He'd taken the convertible out for a ride, camera crew in tow. A little B-roll.

He knows the neighborhood well enough, after all: Van Winkle used to sell beer out of the back of his IROC-Z to kids along Forest Lane back in '88, '89, around when he dropped out of R.L. Turner in the 10th grade. "Five bucks a beer," he recalls with no small amount of pride. "That was good money."

He found a way to make better -- first with that song you're trying to get out of your head at this very moment, then with a movie or two you may have forgotten about. Then, after "a weekend that lasted three years" and included a drugtrastrophe and suicide attempt, he got into the real-estate game. And now, of course, there's that DIY Network show: The Vanilla Ice Project.

Which is why Van Winkle was back home today, if only for a few hours.

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Van Winkle meeting Sean and Erica Heatley for the first time
Sean and Erica Heatley, a couple living a few blocks from Thomas Jefferson High School, on Best Drive off of Merrell Road, won the "Ice My House" contest the DIY Network started running a few weeks back. Out of the "thousands of submissions," say DIY'ers on hand, five finalists were selected; Van Winkle says that when the network chose the Heatleys, they actually had no idea Dallas was his hometown.

Van Winkle was here to surprise the twosome, scope out their wrecked room -- a brick bunker in their finely manicured backyard, close to their crystal-blue swimming pool -- and give 'em a what-what before returning in August for the three-day makeover that airs in January.

"I'm don't know what to do with myself," said Erica, who'd seen Van Winkle pull up to the house in the Rolls and rushed out to greet the once and future Vanilla Ice. "I'm so sorry I don't know what to say."

Said Sean, "Freakin' so excited."

Sure, dude. Vanilla Ice is in your house. Actually, he's in your backyard, scoping out your cinder-block sweatbox with the rickety crapper and trying to talk you out of your wishes to turn it into a guest room. Van Winkle has bigger plans: "sliding glass, a NanaWall, an A roof, a huge barbecue grill, fireplace, skylight, outdoor theater -- a magical party room."

Yeah, Sean nods. That'll work.

"This is your canvas," Sean says. "This is our confusion."

Tomorrow, one more installment in my series of interviews with Vanilla Ice, which began when I was at the Dallas Times Herald in 1990, the year "Ice Ice Baby" was released. Today's was our first since this 2002 sitdown in his tour bus in the parking lot of the Bronco Bowl, which seems like 100 years ago. Must have been all that weed. On the list of subjects covered: his new movie (with Adam Sandler), his new website and his new album. That's right. You heard me.

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23 comments
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Montemalone
Montemalone

Do the homeowners have to get tattoos?

Steve
Steve

He's an alright guy, who took an opportunity that his detractors are too scared or lame to have done.  You know the song by heart.   I'm not saying it belongs in the pantheon of Great Songs, but he bought the ticket and took the ride, at least.

If you watch his show, he's a nice normal guy who has carried a mantle of public perception for a long time and come through it a decent person.

cp
cp

So?

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Good news for Richie.  He's no longer in sole possession of the title "Biggest Douche in North Texas".

gabbahey
gabbahey

I call bullshit. He was never the biggest douche in Texas, rather, he did run a close second to Mr. Van Winkle.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Not the whole state, just North Texas.  Rick Perry holds the state title.

Ed D.
Ed D.

All right, he stopped by to collaborate with and listen to the homeowners? Glad to see Ice is back with his brand new invention. Here's hoping something about the show grabs viewers tightly, and reruns flow like a harpoon daily and nightly.

Andy Nold
Andy Nold

I was given a model railroad layout a few years ago. The guy that had it said that it used to belong to Van Winkle, but I never have found out if he was into model railroads or not. Nice layout regardless of who had it built. But if you get a chance to ask, W..... Jus' wonderin'.

cp
cp

<foamer></foamer>

jonzr
jonzr

A new movie with Adam Sandler!? I can't wait to not see that.

Montemalone
Montemalone

MerrEll

Cuba Gooding
Cuba Gooding

 Better would have been Better than Best

OldSkool
OldSkool

Anything less than the best is a felony....

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

What -- you expect me to know how to spell the name of the street I drive on twice a day and have lived off of for most of my 42 years? Damn, man. I don't know how that happened. But I am properly shamed.

Montemalone
Montemalone

That bug has been up my ass for so long, I can't control it anymore. It's the little things that make me crazy.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Is that a toupee in the top photo?

cp
cp

It does have that endearing rug-ish quality.

Facebook User
Facebook User

If it is, I need to get the name of his toupee guy.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Nope, just some very dark hair. Now, is it dyed? Maybe. But that's all his.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

was there a second installment to this? I finally got caught up on my dvr and saw this episode. The Heatley's did a lot of good DIY work on that house. That poolhouse is awesome. Of course, the wife meh'd it all with "wow, I'm sure they needed the help, they've redone their house, have a Range Rover, an antique hot rod, and who knows what else."Ah, gotta love a woman's perspective on things.Pop your colla and make 'em holla.

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