When you think of an iconic 90s rapper with an infamous song that everyone knows the words to, you instantly think Vanilla Ice. Most 90s icons have become a bit of a gag in our society, ending up on shows like Flavour of Love or doing infomercials for hair remover cream. They rarely put their talents to good use. And if they do, it’s a bit of a shock. But Vanilla Ice’s new show is a far cry from that.
Yesterday I was invited to attend a pre-screening of Vanilla Ice’s new show, the one where he goes to Amish Country and lives and works there for two months. With no cable. Or electricity. For real.
There’s something humbling and simple about the Amish culture, a place where you can step into the 18th century in modern America. When Ice shows up in their tiny town, he instantly stands out, but his big personality quickly opens up their minds and hearts to this stranger. Many of them don’t even know he’s a celebrity. It’s a sharp contrast to the materialistic, celebrity-obsessed culture that we’re surrounded by, but somehow hasn’t managed to fully penetrate everywhere. Ice embraces it with humility… and of course, humour. He’s not making fun of anyone like Paris Hilton did on the Simple Life. He’s there to help… word!
The show is on the DIY Network and is essentially about helping the Amish folk out with some major building projects they wouldn’t have the means or outside expertise to do. The Amish are very handy, yes, but, without giving too much away, the projects certainly add something extra (i.e. convenience, innovation) to their lives. Something we all take for granted – big time!
Vanilla also gets to do some of their chores… with obviously funny outcomes.
After the screening, Vanilla proceeded to meet and greet with the intimate crowd, allowing me not one but two photo/video opps. He’s a super nice guy in person and welcomed questions about his experience on the show. You instantly knew it was the real deal, and that he wasn’t escaping to a 4-star hotel when the cameras were off.
A BIG thank you to Shaw Media and the DIY Network for putting on this amazing event at LoftRAUM in Toronto. And thank you to Vanilla Ice for taking time to mix and mingle with fans (old, new and rekindled).
Vanilla Ice Goes Amish premieres this Sunday at 10pm on the DIY Network