A Summary of Last Night's Premiere of The Vanilla Ice Project

DIY Network
If there's a renovation problem, yo, Vanilla Ice will solve it. If you had any doubts, they were proven wrong in last night's debut of his new reality-home improvement show, The Vanilla Ice Project.

In the show, Rob Van Winkle (better-known as Vanilla Ice) and his buddies renovate a 7,000-square-foot mansion in Wellington (though on the show, the setting is simply called "Palm Beach"). Though each new episode will re-air virtually every night of the week, County Grind will bring you a Cliff's Notes version of each show.

Of course, our brief summaries are no substitute for the real thing. New episodes will debut every Thursday on the DIY Network.

Last night's premiere was a special double episode, featuring a renovation of the landscaping and pool, in that order.

The first episode, titled "Nice, Nice... Landscaping," introduced the concept of the show and had Rob and his friends working on the front yard. Each show begins with Rob explaining that he has the highest-selling rap album of all time and that in his free time, he flips houses "rock-star-style" in Palm Beach.

"Landscaping is a huge thing in Florida," Rob says at the beginning of the episode. The action begins with Rob and his youngest daughter driving around Wellington in his 1964 Cadillac, examining the trees, bushes, and flowers in front of other houses in the neighborhood. Rob proves he's the real deal as he lists off species of palm trees like Forrest Gump's friend Bubba does with shrimp.

As they begin removing the dead trees around the house with a tractor, the first potential disaster is averted: Rob nearly flips the tractor into a nearby pond. But with some fine maneuvering, everybody is safe.

Then Rob and his right-hand man, the always entertaining Wes Kain, proceed to pressure-wash the outside walls and the roof. At one point, Rob is on the roof, barely holding down a hovering pressure washer.

After a commercial break, the gang begins work on the broken sprinkler system. They arrange a chain of PVC pipe and pump water from the pond. Here, Rob and Wes theorize about the "six-foot gator" living in the pond.

After the sprinklers comes the LED outdoor lighting and the crates of colorful flowers. (Rob knows the name of each flower too.) There's a moment of frustration when the crew realizes they have to dig up some of the fresh landscaping to run an electrical line around the house to power the new lights.

At the end of the first episode, Rob summarizes what they've done, and the gang jokes around a bit.

Episode two is called "Party Pool" and involves Rob and his friends completely making over the backyard area.

The show starts with Rob at his house (the one he lives in, with his family, not the project house) admiring his own pool -- which features a fountain made from two golden dolphins. He talks about how important a pool is to a luxury house in Florida. It adds that "coolness" factor, Rob says.

They begin by draining the nasty, stagnate water from the project pool. It's been sitting for three years, we learn, and includes large clumps of raccoon droppings. Once the contaminated water is gone, the guys hit the pool with a hardcore acid mix -- Rob demonstrates how corrosive it is by burning the cement for a moment before cleaning the pool. When they're done and the pool is refilled, Wes and Handsome Dan decide to jump in fully clothed.

Then it's gutter time. Rob hires a local team of gutter experts who show up, make the gutters themselves with a very cool machine, and hang them 27 feet above the ground. "These guys are like monkeys," Rob adds.

Though they look nice, the first major storm after they go up proves the gutters aren't strong enough, and the backyard is flooded. They add a second downspout to the back, and the problem is solved.

Then we see a quick shot of Rob at the ocean, Jet-Skiing with extreme sports champion Dustin Farthing. But the outing is brief, and Wes tells Rob it's time to get back to work.

After the gutters are secured, the group lays down new pavers around the pool. Wes is briefly confused by the T-pattern, and comedy ensues, but in the end, everyone figures it out. At one point, when a serious storm hits, Wes is running around in a giant garbage bag pretending to be a weathercaster, holding a metal pipe as a pretend microphone.

The final task of the episode is the fire pit. Rob buys a prepackaged fire pit the guys must assemble themselves. "Simple, just the way I like it," Rob says. But putting it together proves difficult -- especially since they eventually learn they're missing an important part.

Rob directs the placement from the second floor, noting that the backyard "has to be perfectly symmetrical." They finally figure out how to put the pit together, then assemble some tiki torches around the pool.

In the end, Rob summarizes the episode's events sitting next to the new, luxurious, fiery pool.

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Michael J. Mooney