Vanilla Ice to renovate Woodhaven couple’s backyard


| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy of Todd Plitt/DIY Network
Photo courtesy of Todd Plitt/DIY Network

Many people dream of renovating their home, but few dream of putting Vanilla Ice in charge of it.

The former rapper, who topped the charts in the 1990s with his hit “Ice, Ice Baby,” now has his own home improvement show, the “The Vanilla Ice Project,” on the DIY Network.

For his third season premiere he surprised Woodhaven couple Marlon and Michelle Pavon, selected for a $30,000 backyard makeover. The couple and their neighbors were elated to hear this past weekend that they won the “Ice My House” contest.

Vanilla Ice, real name Robert Van Winkle, and the DIY Network will return to Woodhaven in August for the 10-day renovation, the NY Post reported, with the show premiering in early 2013.

Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA), stopped by to see the rapper and excitement outside the couple’s home this past weekend.

He admitted that he never heard of the show and didn’t know about the rapper’s new career, but said he is looking forward to the renovations.

“Anything that improves a home in this neighborhood is a positive thing,” said Wendell.

Alex Blenkinsopp, vice president of the WRBA, and a lifelong resident of the neighborhood, has known Pavon since he was a child.

“It was terrific news to find out that he and his wife won this contest. It couldn’t have happened to anyone nicer,” said Blenkinsopp.“I agree completely with Vanilla Ice. Woodhaven is a warm and inviting neighborhood.”

Blenkinsopp wants to let the rapper know that he’s welcome back if he wants to help his Block Association solve a problem.

“Stop, collaborate, and listen — we’ve gotten pretty good at that,” said Blenkinsopp, referencing lyrics from “Ice, Ice Baby.”

The rapper sold 11 million copies of his 1990 debut album, “To the Extreme,” featuring the song. According to his DIY bio, Vanilla Ice’s first renovation project was his 5,000-square-foot mansion in Miami Beach; he has been flipping houses for 20 years.