Tai Freligh interviews this week’s eliminated LEGO Masters contestants…
Hosted by actor and producer Will Arnett, season two of LEGO Masters airs every Tuesday (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, bringing imagination, design and creativity to life when teams of LEGO enthusiasts go head-to-head, with infinite possibilities and an unlimited supply of LEGO bricks. Once again, teams of two will compete against each other in even more ambitious brick-building challenges – including an earthquake tower challenge, a demolition derby, a LEGO fashion show and more – to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur LEGO builders. Each week, Flickering Myth’s Tai Freligh will be chatting with the eliminated contestants. This week Tai talks with Moto and Paras about their time on the show, lessons learned and more about the build that ended their time on the show.
Talk about auditioning for the show and what it was like to get selected?
Paras: Hi Tai… the casting crew had reached out back in December 2020 and asked if I would be interested to apply. I had been in the press with my small business, NextGen SmartyPants, and they dropped me a line. Frankly, I actually thought it was spam and ignored it; but I happened to be speaking with Jessica Ragzy from Season 1 about her teaching a LEGO Design class with NextGen SmartyPants and casually asked her about it. She was the one that got me to reply and to go for the opportunity!
As far as auditioning, in a word, auditioning was intense! There were multiple interviews, build challenges, experience videos, Q&A much like this one, wardrobe check, background checks, how we look on camera, the chemistry among my partner and me… you name it, they tested it! I think they tried to really get a good feel as much as possible about how we would be on camera in representing LEGO Masters, FOX, and the LEGO community.
After all this, getting selected was… uncertain, might be the word? Even after the Producer told me, I didn’t believe them. It was on camera so I thought it was yet another reaction test. But when the reality hit that I had made it, it felt like I had passed through customs at the airport; a warmth elation of having finally made it.
Moto: I applied about a month after the end of season 1, when they opened casting for the next season. It took some time to pull together my portfolio of builds and to write thoughtful answers to the form. From there I was contacted and at each point of the process was really surprised that I kept going until it was time to travel to the set.
What was your experience like being on the show?
Paras: The set is so beautiful! The first time we went in, we were all so mesmerized by the blue of the set, the lights, cameras, brickpit… everything! But after a while, we got settled in and comfortable with the cameras, crew, and being part of something special. I was cognizant of the rarity of the experience and tried to enjoy it as much as I possibly could.
Moto: It’s both real and unreal at the same time. I was there experiencing it, but at the same time it seemed magical and slightly distant. I put everything into it because I know there are thousands of LEGO fans across the country that would have swapped places with me in an instant.
What build are you most proud of?
Paras: The build I’m most proud of is our 4-ft tall Skyscraper. The Engineering Challenge was where I was in my element. I had confidence in the ability of our build to get to 11 on the Brickter Scale. Its aesthetics left a lot to be desired, but seeing its performance on the shake table and it actually doing what we designed it to do was very cool!
Moto: I think a tie between the Hero Shot exploding dam and the Hat’s Incredible serpent hat. The most disappointing was the shake tower. It looked awful.
Tell us what you were trying to do with the build that ended up getting you eliminated?
Paras: Episode 4, the Fashion Show was a test of our creativity and technical skill. With our Skyscraper, we showed that we had the technical skills, but also that our creative abilities were a distant second. So we decided to step up our focus on creating something wearable that was flowing and striking. Obviously, I think we went too far the other way and compromised the use of our technical skills, and that ultimately did us in.
Moto: Making the core that integrated the vine/branch down and connected the rim was difficult because I was building from the top down, holding the branch and snake in my left arm and building underneath with my right. Paras was working hard on the fabric of the brim to get it incorporated. In the end, two large “construction” bricks were not completely locked in and it completely split.
What lessons will you take with you from your time on the show with the judges?
Paras: Well, more than any lesson, the biggest thing I take away with me is my relationships with my castmates. The experience was so incredibly intense for us that we’ve become a family. We still all text and talk with each other every day… it’s wonderful!
As far as lessons, I learned a ton from my castmates. The way they think about their builds, their artistic styles and preferred building techniques, what moves and inspires them to create what they do… soft skills that I just never got from reading books and watching YouTube videos of creating with LEGO.
Moto: Never give up.
Hosted by actor and producer Will Arnett, Season Two of LEGO Masters premieres Tuesday, June 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, bringing imagination, design and creativity to life when teams of LEGO enthusiasts go head-to-head, with infinite possibilities and an unlimited supply of LEGO bricks. Once again, teams of two will compete against each other in even more ambitious brick-building challenges – including an earthquake tower challenge, a demolition derby, a LEGO fashion show and more – to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur LEGO builders. In each episode, Arnett, alongside expert Brickmasters and LEGO employees Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard, will encourage the builders, introduce incredible challenges and put their creativity and skills to the test. The competing pairs who impress the Brickmasters the most will progress to the next round, until the finale, during which the top teams will face off for a $100,000 cash prize, the ultimate LEGO trophy and the grand title of LEGO MASTERS.
PHOTO CREDITS: FOX