I, along with many LEGO enthusiasts eagerly tuned in to the premiere of the Australian LEGO Grand Masters tonight (Season 5). We were treated to an epic start to a new season with an exciting episode with the City in the Sky challenge. It did not disappoint with builders delivering a showcase of their talent, creativity and teamwork.
The episode introduced us to the returning and new teams of 'LEGO masters', each with their own unique styles and skills. The diverse mix of contestants promises a thrilling competition once again hosted enthusiastically by Hamish Blake and judged by LEGO master builder Ryan McNaught, aka, Brickman.
Bursting out of the blocks in this first episode, teams had only twelve hours to build their City in the Sky. Teams from previous seasons of LEGO Masters showcased their creativity, innovation, and attention to detail, constructing impressive sculptures, bringing to life stories and demonstrating building techniques and talents in playful and imaginative ways. Was it all smooth sailing though? It wouldn't be reality television without some emerging challenges and twists. Add to that the guiding and probing questions from Brickman and we've got the tension needed to get the teams get into the groove of a fun, yet competitive and challenging rivalry that has made the show so successful worldwide.
Half way through the build we were introduced to the Grand Masters Scoreboard, tracking the builders performance across the next three challenges. With contestants thinking they were on the set of 'The Block', we learnt that the display would show the scores of the next three challenges. The collective highest would then see the leaders as recipients of the Grand Masters' special brick. Whilst we don't know what the brick is made from this year or the power it will hold throughout the season, we do know that Jodie from Season One of LEGO Masters is working hard in the foundry to finish shaping it in the forge!
As usual, the clock ticked down with last minute dashes to the brick to complete builds. After the final bell, all the builds were revealed dangling from their wires in a cloud filled space. It looked spectacular prompting comments on social media begging for it to go on tour so they could see it in person in the future. Amongst the collective beauty though, there could only be one winner. Brickman didn't hold back with his critique of each build as he is clearly expecting top quality creations from these previous contestants. With comments added to encourage continued demonstration of technical skills, storytelling and creativity it was clear that Brickman has high expectations of these builders.
It was great to see familiar faces and talented builders back in the studio but for those unfamiliar with earlier seasons, the episode was a good refresher of those established teams and an introduction to some new combinations. There are clear characters in the cast and as with any reality television show, we're enticed with clever editing and portrayal of circumstances to have the audience begging for more, or maybe cringing sometimes in a plea for less. With the talents of the production team and the willingness of contestants to place their passion on show for us all to see it is sure to be an entertaining season.
Spoiler alert for those waiting to see the episode on catch up TV - Episode One bragging rights went to Scott and Owen with their Mine on Asteroid build. Brickman was impressed with the build and the team's use of translucent bricks with the white accent underneath, along with the originality of the build. The boys explained that their build was depicting a working mine. With 5 motors, the movement clearly showed the crane that lifts the ore up from underneath, drops it into a crusher where it goes onto the train, then to the conveyor, into refinery. Adding to the story, they added characters in minifigure form depicting visiting investors, mullet-men having a dance party with the site dog keeping watch on it all.
Overall, LEGO Grand Masters Episode One was just the start to the season the show needed in a competitive ratings time slot.
I look forward to seeing the impressive builds yet to come, Brickman's continued 'take no prisoners' judging and of course the drama that I'm sure will unfold within teams, across tables int he studio and in the inevitable tears in farewells and illuminations.
If you haven't started watching yet - catch up on 9NOW and get ready for episode two. They've got me 'over a barrel' so far and the TV in locked to Channel 9 till the Grand Master is crowned.
Check out the images and catch up episode here - https://9now.nine.com.au/lego-masters