LEGO® Masters USA – Season 2, Episode 1: LEGO® Day Parade
LEGO® Masters USA is back, back back again with a new season. It’s time to recap all the colourful fun of the premiere episode, LEGO® Day Parade, and meet our new batch of brick builders. We’ve met our 12 new teams in a previous post so click the link for a refresher. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, this is your customary SPOILER Warning. Still with me? Let’s do this.
Will Arnett is back and in his finest bath robe to get us started with a laugh. Our contestants enter and THEY. ARE. PUMPED! Quite the excited group (but who wouldn’t be right?!). The goal for this year’s season is BIGGER! BETTER! BRICKIER! Ok I made up that last one, but it’s technically true as we now have 5 MILLION bricks in the brick pit. 2 million bricks just wasn’t enough, but we do have 2 more teams, so it’s a smart move. Sadly the cash prize hasn’t increased, but let’s be fair, $100,000 USD is nothing to complain about!
This week’s challenge is to build a float in the first-ever LEGO® Day Parade. The dreaded timer is set for 14 hours! Brick Masters Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard are back to guide, inspire and potentially read to filth (in a nice way). The contestants need to make a float that showcases personality, originality and creativity. The float must also incorporate MOVEMENT in some way – a tough criteria for literally the first episode.
The rest of the act introduces our stalwart teams and their ideas. Some clever animations and gags are peppered in for some laughs. Half of the teams showcase their ideas and receive feedback. The stand outs for me were brothers Wayne & Zack’s “Soaring Dragons” and siblings Jack & Dawn’s “Kelsey’s Butterfly“. The former for being a superb visual and technical design, and the latter for a really sweet, personal build to honour their great niece who recently passed away at age 16. Honourable mention to friends Randall & Syreeta’s “4 Elements of Hip-Hop” for a really original idea.
Four more teams get the spotlight after the commercial break. The clear stand-out was brothers Steven & Mark’s “World Serpent“, a nod to their Viking roots. I think Vikings would love LEGO®, would be a nice break from pillaging…ok moving on. The brothers had some playful ‘banter’ with host Will Arnett and dropped a bit of LEGO® flexing. Turns out they won their last building competition against last season’s winner Tyler Clites. That’s a solid thing to add to the LEGO® CV.
CUE THE MARCHING BAND! In traditional LEGO® Masters fashion, the clock stops, the lights go wild and we’re treated to a full marching band going through the build room. And it looks like they left something behind: THE COVETED GOLDEN BRICK! As with last year’s competition, the golden brick is given to this week’s winner to gain immunity from future elimination. Time will tell how it factors into the competition and who it will save…
Our last two teams are introduced with friends Moto & Paras, and twin brothers Caleb & Jacob. Although Moto and Paras are engineers, there are definite struggles with their “Present Day” build that features retro-looking robots. The movement elements are not cooperating so far, but they’re far from the only group with those issues.
It’s time for everyone to present their floats and show off their creativity after a hectic 14 hours. Brothers Zack & Wayne present their “Soaring Dragons” and man did they set the bar high. A beautiful design with red and blue dragons representing each brother. The building techniques were also really clever and effectively realized movement. It was a real stand out for it’s attention to detail and the personal connection to their Asian heritage. The act ends with the first of undoubtedly many cliff-hangers during judging. Did Moto & Paras solve their technical issues? Are they in danger of elimination? Find out after this sentence break!
They’re fine. . .
One robot managed to function while other did not offer as much motion. The judges agreed it was a strong idea and a sweet message about fatherhood, but some refinements were needed. The rest of the teams get their moments to shine with almost everyone getting fairly positive feedback for storytelling and personality. Teams with technical issues included friends Jen & Susan, siblings Dawn & Jack and spouses Maria & Philip. The latter team ended the act with their own cliffhanger and a mediocre critique.
Alright. It’s time for the final results. After the requisite deliberation we learn our bottom 2 teams are friends Susan & Jen and spouses Maria & Philip. And it was definitely the right call. Neither team managed to get full motion on their builds and the designs didn’t match the caliber of the other teams. Then came time to select the first team to go home….but then OH MY GOD PLOT TWIST! No one was sent home and all 12 teams will return to build again. Last season’s first episode also had the same outcome.
Now onto our top 2. The far-and-away top creations were….”Soaring Dragons” by brothers Wayne & Zack and “The World Serpent” by friends Steven & Mark. Both floats were loaded with fantastic details, creative motion and lots of personality. But we can only have one winner and it’s WAYNE & ZACK! Their dragons were just stellar and realized with major finesse. They seriously seemed to just breeze through this challenge! These fellas have set quite a high bar and are definite front-runners. They also receive the precious, precious golden brick. And that’s it till next week when there will be eliminations (eep!)
Overall, LEGO® Day Parade was a solid start to a new season. This week’s challenge was a very fun theme and the results were generally solid. With 12 teams and only 45 minutes of airtime, there wasn’t much time to get to know them or to really see their design process. And although the teams feel a little less diverse than last year’s crop, that doesn’t take away from the talent that was on display. Good luck to all these teams.
OVERALL SCORE: 7 / 10
Are you watching the show? Are you rooting for any favourites or just a monster that wants to see everything break? I know you’re out there! Sound off in the comments and until next time, keep on brickin’.
LEGO® Masters USA airs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM ET/PT on FOX in the US, and on CTV, CTV.CA and the CTV app.
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