Our adventures with LEGO in France continues with the field down to six teams and the challenges getting tougher as every round will see a team eliminated. We have two big challenges to get through, Mega-City and Cut in Half.
The teams walk into a construction site to set the theme of Mega-City build. We all know this very well. Each team has a plot of empty land which they must create a fantastic building which is full of story and imagination. They have ten hours to do so. And as ever there's a twist! Their towering creations come under attack and the teams must scramble to adapt their works with an additional three hours. This build really tests teams as the sky is the limit along with trying to create a cohesive story and imaginative builds. Another trap is how teams will create elaborate skyscrapers, but the insides turn out to be empty.
Loïc & Guillaume - Art City The duo have decided to create the artist's corner of the city. A 2-meter high pencil skyscraper sits at the centre of a cluster of buildings that are themed around art supplies such as paint tins, pallets and erasers. The judges love the concept but warn them that time management is key. However, time seems to be on their side and they increase the height of their pencil building and add lots of art-themed decor on the streets. Their attack involves a mecha eraser army that is storming the town and erasing everything. The judges are very pleased with how well designed everything is commenting that nothing seems out of place in their design with Georg's only criticism coming from a want to see the pencil tower be under attack and a bit more action on things like the paint tin tipping and overflowing.
Sébastien & David - Brickosaurus Square The duo started on an American shopping mall, but the judges step in and remind them they want a neighbourhood, not just one building. They remove their build and start on a clean slate having burnt two hours. David comes up with the new idea of a Museum of Natural History with a dinosaur theme parkland, complete with a hotdog stand (a hotdog is Sébastien's spirit animal). Their twist echoes the brick styling of their museum and has a giant brick monster sitting on top with some fantastic drool oozing all over the building which was well received by the judges as the stark white of the building made the build look a bit plain. The judges note they left much of the sidewalks intact and could have used the space a bit more and the idea of a museum didn't feel like a neighbourhood.
Alban & Xavier - Apartments of the Future
Team Belgian Dads have decided to go with a futuristic apartment concept, with the idea that different units can fly into the scaffolding made trickier by their elaborate scaffolding that holds the pods coming apart losing them time and creating anxiety as parts drop off as the table is carried over. They are relieved for the twist, taking the extra time to create an attack that revolves around Eric's magic tricks turning into a giant tentacle plant. Eric then escapes in his flying apartment. The judges point out the risk they took in designing such a complex scaffolding which with the twist helped boost the impact of the attack with great use of red to create contrast and focus. The attack is well received with the units spilling out all over the place and crowds fleeing from the danger.
Yann & Jean-Phillipe - Business District Riding on a high from last week this team is keen to stay in the game and went for a corporate business district. The judges drop in and point out that it's a bit plain and wants them to push their imagination and go crazy, even if it can't actually exist in reality forcing them to rethink. turning their skyscraper into a giant gift and adding a pirate ship ballpark at the base. Their attack is a megacorp that doesn't like all of the joy and fun that the neighbourhood has and seeks to ruin it. A dark tie attacks the building with the businessmen storming the ground out of a briefcase and set fire to all of the gifts.
The judges compliment the team on the contrast between the childish world vs the black corporate but feel the attack was a bit weak with too little attack action going on.
Marguerite & Renaud - Central Marguerite Tapping into their love of the whimsical and morbid the team settles for creating an out of this world city based on what goes inside her head, with a roller coaster travelling between the spires like blood vessels and organs nestled on top. The judges warn them that this could be so out there in concept they risk losing track of the story. Their attack resolves around a horse made of cholesterol that sends oozing yellow fat surging through the towers. The judges applaud some of the construction techniques and the artistic intent, but fail to see the story as the design obscured the story with elements being hard to understand.
Maximilien and Thibault - Cyberpunk City A pair of dark and foreboding towers of modular homes sit glowing with red neon lights alongside a refinery with their love of sci-fi and things like Blade Runner with a class imbalance between the rich and poor. Their destruction twists involve the machines of the workers revolting and turning on the cities elites. The judges love the dark take on a city with the attention going into showing all the layers of a city growing over time into a mechanical nightmare. However, points were deduced for the attacking spider not being big enough and the deeper story being a bit lost, were the spider's builders or attackers?
The two teams that were earmarked for elimination were Marguerite & Renaud and Yann & Jean-Phillipe with the father and son duo having an emotional send-off, with Yann thanking his dad and the rest of the teams for an amazing experience.
Challenge Two: Cut In Half Challenge
The teams arrive to the sight of Eric gleefully cutting a garden gnome in half. Yes, it's yet another cut-in-half challenge. Each team has an everyday object which has been sawn in half and a base plate added to it. They must come up with a whimsical replacement that tells a fantastic story. This creates many challenges as LEGO doesn't form well to rounded objects and the build hanging off a vertical baseplate poses the risk of falling off. The stakes are high as the teams face the second elimination for the episode.
Sébastien & David - The Barbecue. A pig escapes from being cooked and attacks the chef. The build goes smoothly but at the last minute, the team struggles to keep the pig's head on and failing to keep it there when the timer goes leaving the team shattered. This is immediately called out as an unfinished build. They get praise for the rest of the creation with points going towards the flames and the dynamics of the story leaving the two worried for their elimination.
Alban & Xavier - Fire Hydrant - The Chocolate Fire Hydrant
Taking inspiration from Xavier's daughter's suggestion to create a chocolate fountain. The judges drop by and remind them that it might not actually look like chocolate simply because it uses brown bricks. So they work out a way to rejig their design to have a fountain pour into a man's mouth.
The judges praise that they have used the size of the hydrant, extending its height to be quite impressive. They get some criticism over the storytelling with the minifig gnomes who make the chocolate, pointing out that side of the hydrant feels unfinished and lacking details. The team is worried they won't make it.
Maximilien and Thibault - Typewriter
They aim to create a story that forms from the machine into a dragon flying off the pages. The Judges warn them they need to have something really amazing that pushes their boundaries. Tension builds between the two as they struggle to work out technical details that don't quite go to plan.
However, the story doesn't become clear to the judges. The dragon being small to work around technical hitches fails to impress. The typewriter's LEGO half is impressive but the lack of teamwork and time management made for a build that was undercooked.
Loïc & Guillaume - Gnome - Vegetable Gnome The pair struggled at the start to come up with a plan having builder's block. They settle on the final idea of the second half of the dwarf being made up of vegetables. The judges remind them to not get too complex and have a build that fails, costing them a place in semis. They resort to using smaller micro builds.
Their story is noted for it is charming, ants bringing in vegetables to rebuild the gnome. However, the team's tactics in staying safe meant their build was seen as conservative by the judges and lacking in scale and movement with the end result looking like a faithful reconstruction rather than a base to build something amazing. They get points for clever parts usages in creating various veggies, such as minifig hair for cauliflowers.
Marguerite & Renaud - Guitar - Jimmy Hendrix This object wasn't their preferred choice but the two fire up their imaginations and get cracking with a homage to Jimmy Hendrix using all sorts of clever techniques to create a funky head that evokes elements of Hendrix, such as building a little watchtower and having a purple haze. The judges love the idea of creating a soul that emanates from a guitar along with strong and bold colours of blue, black and purple which tie in with the guitar. They get some complaints that the build mainly remains on the baseplate of the object and doesn't carry elements like the fire around the original guitar.
The bottom two are Sébastien & David and Maximilien & Thibault. Both teams accept their fate with Maximilien & Thibault getting eliminated. Georg and Paulina point out that at this stage in the competition teamwork and technique are critical and both were lacking. They acknowledge they've had an incredible journey and are wished the best.
The final four teams are now entering the semi-final and finals next week on LEGO Masters France!
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