Exclusive Interview – LEGO Masters Season 2 – Jen and Susan
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 Jen (from the eliminated partners of Jen and Susan) about her time on the show, lessons learned and more about the build that ended her time on the show.
Talk about auditioning for the show and what it was like to get selected?
Jen: Our audition experience is a little different than most others. I was initially recruited by the casting team for season one. They contacted me through my social media and I thought it was a scam at first! I asked Susan if she could leave her family for two months to come film the show with me and she said “Yes!”
We were flown to LA to do challenge builds for final auditions where we met Sam, Boone and Mark. The phone call informing me that I had made it on the show came while I was driving home from Primary Children’s Hospital where we had just received a diagnosis of cancer in our then 10 year-old son. I informed my casting director what was happening and said that I withdraw from the show. Nico is now 12 and is doing great!
After the pandemic, when season two casting started, they called me up to see how my son was doing and if I wanted to participate on LEGO Masters. It felt so amazing to get the call that we were going to be on the show. I am deeply honored that we got to be a part of something so fantastic and wonderful.
What was your experience like being on the show?
Jen: Walking onto the LEGO Masters set for the first time was so incredibly amazing. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning! My inner child was so happy to be able to play in that awesome Brick Pit, and I was absolutely fan-girling whenever Brickmasters Amy and Jamie would come over to our table. I had to tell myself, “be cool, be cool!” They are two of my creative heroes. On top of all this, Will Arnett is amazingly hilarious and very quick with the playful banter and it was a ton of fun to joke around with him.
My most cherished experience from this show is all the friendships I’ve made with the other teams. All 24 of us are really close friends and I totally love and have a deep respect for all of them as amazing builders and as amazing humans. I can’t wait to see them again at LEGO conventions! Those reunions are going to be epic!
What build are you most proud of?
Jen: My favorite build is our Make and Shake building. That single challenge validated the whole reason I decided to be on LEGO Masters in the first place. I came here to answer one question about myself: What amazing and new thing would my unique brain invent when put under the constraints of the LEGO Masters challenge clock with (almost) unlimited bricks at my disposal?
When my design for our building’s strong core allowed us to reach level 11 on the Brickter Scale, I was beyond elated! All the other teams were cheering and screaming with us! It was truly amazing. Then, Brickmaster Jamie picks up a piece of our core off the floor and says, “I’ve never seen this technique before!” His exclamation felt so amazing. To get a compliment like that from a top LEGO designer was the pinnacle of my LEGO journey.
I’m bummed that his quote didn’t make the final edit, but if you look at Jamie’s hand in that episode, he is still holding on to my core at the end. He kept a piece of our build!
While filming this show, I studied LEGO and Technic everyday during breaks on set and in my hotel room each night. With every episode, Susan and I got better and better. I’m really happy with how we performed for each challenge. I’m a much better and faster builder now than when I started back in episode one.
Tell us what you were trying to do with the build that ended up getting you eliminated?
Jen: I absolutely loved this challenge! As soon as I heard it was going to be a Demolition Derby, I was so ready to start crashing into everyone! We made our tractor a REALLY solid build that was not going to come off the RC chassis they gave us. I actually feel sorry for the crew members that have to take it apart!
Our plan was to have the threshers break off exposing the metal corners of the chassis which I then used to ram into the other cars. It was simple math: Metal is greater than LEGO. We were happily chipping away at the other teams’ cars, then all the fun came to an end when poor Muscle Sprouts got stuck on a tire. Curse those tires! I was not finished dealing out destruction, lol. Bummer.
Getting eliminated was crushing. I didn’t see it coming because I thought we had finished in the middle of the pack. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone else deserved to go home either, so it all turned out fine. I was definitely sad that we couldn’t play in the Brick Pit anymore, and it was really hard to leave my friends. I’m very grateful that I had this opportunity to meet every one of them.
I don’t envy the judges and I am so very glad that I don’t have their job. There is no way I could ever choose whom to send home. I would end up declaring everyone a winner and tell them all to split the prize money and the trophy! It probably wouldn’t be a very good show if I was in charge, so I get it, we all have to take turns going home.
What lessons will you take with you from your time on the show with the judges?
Jen: With such short time periods for each challenge, I learned to hone in on one visual message to relay our story to the judges. I know, 10 hours seems like a ton of time, but it’s really not.
Brickmasters Amy and Jamie are amazing coaches and really want us all to succeed. They encourage us to allow our personalities to influence our builds. For every challenge they reiterated the three elements we all would be judged by: Technical Ability, Storytelling, and Creativity. Now with everything I build I incorporate these three elements. Amy and Jamie have helped me become a better builder and storyteller and I am forever grateful for the time they spent with us. This was an amazing experience and I am so lucky to have been a part of this awesome show. I will never forget my time here. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
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