Arizona mom and son duo competing on nationally televised ‘Lego Masters’ show
PHOENIX — To some, Lego is a toy that is forgotten about during the transition from childhood to adulthood. For a mother and son duo from Arizona, it’s a lifestyle.
Liam and Emily Norris are contestants on Season 3 of Fox’s hit show “Lego Masters,” where teams of two compete weekly to build the best themed Lego creation.
Hopefuls are eliminated each round until one pair remains and wins $100,000 and the exclusive title of “Lego master.”
The show premiered Wednesday and the Norris family moved on to the next round.
“I first got really into Lego when I was 6 years old,” Liam Norris said. “I got my first Power Miners set and it was the coolest thing to 6-year-old Liam.”
The mother and son recently moved to Tucson for Liam, who decided to attend the University of Arizona.
They spent most of Liam’s life in Charlottesville, Virginia, and even spent some time in China.
The adoration for the tiny, colorful bricks didn’t stop, regardless of where the Norris family was living.
Liam and his mom started a design club, held workshops at the local Boys and Girls Club and was part of a Lego team that was coached by Emily.
Even so, it’s not typical for a 19 year old to team with his mother — they’re the first mom-son duo in the show’s history — but it was always the plan.
“I was floored,” Emily Norris said. “We brainstormed really hard … and in the end, he said ‘no, mom, I would feel most comfortable building with you.’”
While the bond between both seems unbreakable, the show tested their creativity and comfort level.
“Being on the show was a huge change from how I usually build,” Liam Norris said.
“When I generally build, it’s smaller, detailed scenes that look cool up close, but on the show you have to build things that are easily recognizable far away and have to be huge, colorful and tell a story immediately.”
The show’s big test is designing and building massive works of art in a time crunch of only a few hours.
Emily mentioned how tough that can be, especially when the judges are some of Lego’s best. Brickmasters Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard have designed some of the brand’s most successful sets.
“The time crunch forces you to build in a way that is efficient and you have to be thinking of what is your end goal and how quickly you can achieve it,” Emily Norris said.
“Being pushed by Jamie and Amy with their feedback was such a wonderful experience.”
Liam and Emily did eventually gain comfort on the show, led by the supportive nature of host Will Arnett and the other contestants.
They have a plan on how they’d use the $100,000 if they win.
“We both want to use the money to reach out and give back to the community, helping kids develop their creativity,” Liam Norris said.
Even if they don’t, Emily says the show was the culmination of watching Liam evolve throughout his childhood.
“Lego really does help children evolve their social skills, creativity and communication skills,” Emily Norris said. “I saw it up close and firsthand.”