Vanilla Ice trashes the set on The Surreal Life finale, continuing an eight-year tradition

Once again, an episode of The Surreal Life: Fame Games was marred–or perhaps enhanced–by Rob “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle acting like a four-year-old. After Verne Troyer was eliminated from the game, producers broke the fourth wall to reveal that Ice nonverbally communicated the correct answer to the two remaining players by shaking and nodding his head. As usual, he got angry and started yelling, denying everything, even though he was clearly at fault. (Producers sent Verne home, with no real explanation.)

But his behavior on yesterday’s episode was nothing compared to what the preview for next week’s season finale shows: Vanilla Ice flips out again, and starts literally trashing the set and house. He screams, “What do you think when you get backstabbed by a friend? What a pile of shit!”

The preview shows Robin Leach ducking and cowering (and probably calling his agent) as Rob throws things at the giant VEGAS sign in the living room, which is made of light bulbs. He shatters parts of the E and G, screaming “backstabber!” He also smashes a guitar and some other stuff, and punches his fist into a light box. Eventually security or some interns try to restrain him. And that’s just the preview for Sunday’s episode.

This is Ice’s second season on the show, and his flip-out-and-break-things act is almost boring now. In the first episode of The Surreal Life 2, he vandalized old photos of himself that were part of the set because he didn’t like being reminded of the only reason why people care who he is. Since he basically flips out in every episode, one has to wonder if this is either a strategy for attention, or insight into why his 2001 album is titled Bi-Polar and The Smoking Gun has his mug shot.

He’s now been doing this for about eight years–eight years!–starting when he trashed the set on MTV in front of a horrified Janeane Garofalo and Jon Stewart. He was supposed to retire his video on a 1999 MTV show; instead, he destroyed the set with a baseball bat and freaked out the show’s hosts. The only question is this: Why has VH1 not yet given him his own Breaking Bonaduce style series?

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.