LEGO Masters Australia Week 1 – Recap & The People’s Choice Polls

The first week of LEGO Masters Australia on Channel 9 has finished, with some incredible builds being created for the three challenges. If you’ve been living under a rock and still haven’t seen any of the episodes, be warned, there be spoilers ahead!

At the end of each week I’ll do a recap of week as well as my thoughts on some of the final builds (and teams), and include the People’s Choice Polls that I’ve been publishing on the BricktasticBlog Facebook Page. On the weekend I’ll also publish the results of polls from the week before. I’ve had some interesting results already!

Episode 1 – Megacities

David and G

How amazing is the Brick Pit! Oh, to have access to that room. I liken it to the physical version of LEGO Digital Designer or Stud.io. It’s beautiful!

We saw Megacities in episode 1, where the contestants aimed for the sky, to create (hopefully) tall structures to fill in blank blocks in a large city. Some teams soared, others aimed a little lower, but there were still some beautiful builds created.

There was a twist issued by Hamish Blake – three hours to turn the build into an attack scene. This is where each of the builds drastically changed. It was great to see the teams change up their builds on the fly, and adapt to the changes.

Matt and Lyn

Lyn and Matt’s Cumulus Square was interesting. The cloud seemed a little blocky, but the use of lights and sounds were very clever. Initially the tower seemed a little weak as it was hollow inside, relying on SNOT to stay on, but it ended up looking good. Adding the massive (and small) dragons was inspired. Matt has a great eye for parts use! They ended up winning the round, which was great to see, especially after the shaky start for the nervous Lyn.

Jordan and Miller, the young blokes, aimed for the lower end of the builds, choosing to ignore Brickman’s advice until much later. As Brickman said “Megacity, not Mega Yarra Valley!”. To me, the last minute height additions looked a little haphazard, not bring in a cohesive look. The story of the levels becoming more modern was not obvious. The alien invasion added a bit more excitement. It’s also hilarious to watch Jordan running pretty much constantly to the Brick Pit! He’s so keen!

Bilsy and Kale were the talk of the episode. Kale came across as very confident in his skills and talents, which meant that it appeared that Bilsy took a bit of a backstep in the episode. The way the episode was cut together (remember that over 17 hours of footage were scrapped for the team), didn’t show Kale in the best light. I’ve chatted with Kale and Bilsy a number of times, so it’s great to see them in the show. I really they do well. The tower and the giant alien looked great.

It wasn’t great to see the comments appearing on social media directed towards Kale. This is reality TV folks, but it’s not reality. Sure, some of the things that were mentioned weren’t the best approaches, but it’s definitely not cool to abuse and attack him like people were on social media. The pressure of reality TV and being constantly filmed would be intense, so maybe have a think about what you’re typing and if you’d be willing to say it to someone’s face. The contestants have feelings too. Yes, I know Kale and Bilsy, but this still isn’t cool. Lots of context is lost in reality TV shows.

Henry and Cade

Henry & Cade’s treehouse was stunning, and it was great to see the use of bricks instead of leaf elements. The story of business Peter Pan and the Lost Boys was very clever! It’s just a shame that the attack build was relatively minimal in comparison.

Kaitlyn and Marielle

Kaitlyn & Marielle’s art gallery was absolutely beautiful. The bold, vivid colours were stunning, and the offset of the black in the attack modification was great. It’s a shame they didn’t get a nod at the top spot.

Below are the images from Channel 9’s LEGO Masters Australia Facebook page, of the rest of the final builds for episode 1.

Episode 2 – Blockbuster

This episode was fun! Teams were expected to build something in order for it to be destroyed. The four destruction mechanisms were a fast sled slamming the build against a wall, Hamish smacking it with a baseball bat, a 4 metre drop onto a moon surface, and dynamite. The sled was a little disappointing, but the others were great. I get that it was to add a bit of variety, but really, they should have all used the same method of destruction. There was also a theme running through the builds – classic space! Some nailed this, others not so much. Either way, we get some glorious slow-mo LEGO destruction!

It’s great to see the development of the contestants as likeable and relatable people. Of course there are some excellent builders here, I think I’ll be a bit sad when one pair has to leave. This is also a step up in tension of the episode. Many of us can relate to having flimsy builds that are so fragile to touch. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person holding my breath watching the episode!

Lyn & Matt, safe off the back of a win in the first episode, struggled a bit, with too much reliance on technical skills, rather than initial strength to get it down the sled run. In a dramatic moment, the large centrepiece of the build comes crashing down at the very last second! It was heartbreaking to see, as it would have looked excellent seeing it explode.

Miller & Jordan

Having built a Noah’s Ark before, Jordan and Miller’s Noah’s Ark 2 really appealed to me, but it was severely lacking in the animals! The bright yellow and grey build was stunning through. Seeing it pancake against the wall was cool.

Bilsy & Kale

Bilsy & Kale went for the proper classic space colour scheme, with a Lunar Hotel. It looked great, but it’s downfall was Kale’s insistence on adding a roof. Sure, it looked like a complete build, but it stopped everything from flying up, when it came crashing down from the moon drop! It mustn’t be easy building something to purposefully destroy it. All of the builders would be used to having the standard final look in mind, not the destruction of it.

David & G’s International Space Station was terrifying to watch being built, but it sure was pretty in it’s destruction. Seeing the space shuttle land perfectly after Hamish smacking it with the bat was the icing on the cake. I know I wasn’t the only person telling David through the TV “Stop touching it!”.

Henry & Cade

Henry and Cade’s space monster was glorious. The purple and multi coloured innards looked spectacular after the bat hit, and while the rocket didn’t quite burst through the front as intended, it still stayed intact. It might have been better giving it a pop-out SNOT panel in front of the rocket nose to give it a helping hand.

Kaitlyn and Marielle’s Moon Mine destroyed with dynamite was awesome. The build was beautifully constructed, and the sequence of destruction was perfect, but Maddy & Jimmy’s Honeymoon Rocket was far too blocky, and once again tied to their own individual story.

Gayan & Dinushi

Lastly, there’s Gayan & Dinushi. After minimal scenes in the first episode, the focus was on their build, and it certainly was worth it. With Gayan spending ages perfecting his Space Worm, the explosion saw everything destroyed, except for the worm itself, making for great television. Definitely worthy winners!

You can watch all the glorious slow-mo destruction in the tweet below.

Episode 3 – Cut in Half

The elimination episode was last night, and it was all about completing real world objects with LEGO after Hamish cut a bike in half. With Gayan & Dinushi winning the build in Episode 2, they weren’t required to participate this time. It was a shame to not see them build for the sake of it! It would have been good practice for future rounds. The contestants were asked to choose a cut-in-half item to build off. Then the race began.

Lyn & Matt struggled with this build, grabbing the mixer. They attempted to create Calamity in the Kitchen – preparation for a birthday party gone wrong, but it was very disjointed, and they almost lost their place in the competition, even after having the golden immunity brick.

Jordan & Miller

Jordan & Miller went with the typewriter, and proceeded to recreate the rest of it, along with a castle and book. It looked great, but I don’t know why they chose tan for the pages, and not white? I get that it had to blend into the sand, but it didn’t look quite right.

Bilsy & Kale grabbed the bike and made a spectacular unicorn at the front. It looked great white and loads of colour all over the bike. For the item with the least amount of connection points, it worked really well. We also started to see a more cohesive team emerge. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s a slight improvement.

David & G

David & G created what I think is the most stunning build of the round. Using the projector, they completed it and then made a dogfight projection scene with The Red Baron, similar to works created by JK Brickworks. This was glorious, and totally should have won the round. This was even after a late restart in design!

Henry & Cade

Henry & Cade, who ended up winning had the violin. After another idea rethink, this ended up being a punk rock chick (thanks to the awesome mech skills of Henry), bursting out of the violin. Cade managed to successfully rebuild the violin, complete with curves and details, to magnificent effect. It was a worthy winner.

Kaitlyn & Marielle struggled this round, wasting a lot of time deciding what to do with their half television. It ended up being an under sea dumped TV, with the ocean appearing to take the TV over, but the scale of the build was all over the place, with big builds and small builds everywhere. Large fish with minifigures in small boats just didn’t work. Their use of colour was once again very well done, but it wasn’t enough and they were eliminated. It would have been great to see more from these two, after beautiful builds in the first two episodes, but clearly they didn’t count in the judging.

Maddy & Jimmy

Maddy & Jimmy once again stuck to their strengths of bricks and brick representations of themselves, after grabbing the mannequin and creating Jimmy’s Imagination, with little Maddys popping out everywhere. The human form is difficult to create with LEGO, but instead of using tiles and slopes, they stuck with the humble 2×4 and 2×2 bricks. We’ve still not seen them branch out from this method, and while I think they should have been eliminated after three rounds of similar approaches, they were safe for the second week.

So we’re one team down already, and two more weeks to go! I wonder what happens next? If you want to catch up on the episodes, you can see them on 9Now, and multiple repeats throughout the day on other 9 channels, otherwise the show airs on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays on Channel 9 at 7pm.

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