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BYU student has a chance to be a ‘Lego Master’

22-year-old senior and her 18-year-old brother will compete on the Fox TV series.

(Tom Griscom | Fox) Drew and Miranda Maynard in season 3 of "Lego Masters."

In her final semester before graduating from BYU, Miranda Maynard has a great “conversation starter” when she arrives at a classroom “full of new people.” She tells them she’s one of the contestants on the new season of Fox’s “Lego Masters.”

“That’s really something to be able to talk about,” she said with a laugh.

Maynard and her younger brother, Drew, are contestants on the latest edition of the Fox reality/competition series, which debuts Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. on KSTU, Channel 13. If they beat out the 11 other teams in a series of Lego-building challenges, they’ll take home $100,000.

It’s a dream come true for both of them.

“I really have always loved to play with Lego,” said Miranda, 22. Her 18-year-old brother “is, I think, the true Lego master of the two of us because he’s fantastic.” Drew “builds lots of skyscrapers — very different from our surroundings in Pocatello and even here in Provo. When I moved to Provo, it felt like the big city.”

He’s also the youngest contestant so far on “Lego Masters.” And Drew has a YouTube channel devoted to his creations, and Miranda isn’t exaggerating when she says his skyscrapers are “really something to behold.”

She said her brother has been into Lego “basically from birth. For me, I wasn’t really into Lego until I was probably 14 or 15 years old. And that’s when I started getting all the Lego sets for Christmas, and it really just took off from there.”

A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Miranda is the seventh of nine children; Drew is the ninth. “Hey, we’re from rural Idaho,” she joked.

Sharing the workload

Miranda said she goes home to Idaho “probably every other weekend,” and she and Drew “hunker down in the city and build together, which is really fun.”

“I love doing the landscaping part of it because I really do love nature and getting outdoors. and I love doing that in Lego because there’s so many ways you can do it. And Drew loves building skyscrapers. Bigger, taller, fancier. It’s pretty fabulous.”

As they are building, they share their love of ‘80s music. “Oh my gosh, he knows everything about ‘80s music,” she said. “So we’re usually, like, singing and jamming out. We’re talking about some of the music. We love talking about movies together. It’s really great.”

They don’t always see entirely eye-to-eye about the projects, but they don’t seriously disagree, either.

“Sometimes there’s a little bit of sibling rivalry, but I would say 99% of the time we get along perfectly,” Miranda said. “And I think we’re a really great complement to each other. We like to work on different things, but whenever it comes together I think it really just completes both parts of it.”

She said she loves “doing detail work” like posing the Lego people, adding pants, adding tiling — “all the small stuff that you can really take a look at after a while. But it was really cool to be able to learn, OK, I can also do bigger structures. I can work with my brother and do everything that we need to do together.”

(Tom Griscom | Fox) Host Will Arnett and contestants Drew and Miranda Maynard in the “Ready to Launch” season three premiere episode of "Lego Masters."

Getting on the show

Miranda said she wasn’t aware of the show — she is a college student, after all — until she was staying with her family “and they were, like, ‘Oh my gosh. We’ve been watching this show. It’s so cool. It’s all about Legos.’” She sat down with her brothers to watch and “speculate on what we would do if we were in their position. … But we never actually thought like this would actually happen.”

How good are Drew’s Lego creations? Good enough that a “Lego Masters” casting director reached out to him, inviting him to audition for the show after seeing his work online.

Drew sent Miranda a screenshot of that invitation “and he’s, like, ‘There’s no way this is real, right?’” They were “really excited” when they found out it was, after a bit of online sleuthing.

It wasn’t quite as easy as that to get on the show. “There were plenty of rounds of casting where we had to work really hard together,” she said.

That process included a “Lego boot camp” they had to attend, which turned out to be her “favorite part” of the whole experience.

“My goodness, if you think you know anything about Lego or if you think you can work really well with it under pressure, you’re going to have kind of a rude awakening — even if you’re really, really great,” Miranda said.

And through the course of the show, she learned she had more skills than she thought. “I think it definitely will really stretch you to be on this show. No matter how prepared you think you are, you’re going to learn so much,” she said.

And her husband of almost a year, Josh Bauer, encouraged her to take on the challenge. He, too, loves Lego — there are half a dozen constructed Lego sets in their Provo apartment right now.

“I was pretty nervous when I was asked to be on the show,” she said. “But even though it was really hard to be away from each other, he was so supportive and so thrilled.”

It was worth delaying her graduation

“Lego Masters” did, however, complicate her academic life a bit, even delaying her graduation by a semester.

The upcoming season of “Lego Masters” filmed last spring while school was still in session. Which was not, for the most part, an insurmountable problem.

“Well, professors have definitely been nicer about homework,” she said. “They got really excited because they all have kids that watch the show, and they watch the show together. So they’re, like, ‘Oh my gosh! Congratulations! Great for you!’’

“There was one class and I couldn’t quite make it work out,” she said, “but man, that professor was rooting for me.”

And she has no regrets. She will quickly and enthusiastically tell you it was all worth it.

“We really did have a fantastic time,” Miranda said. “And something that I really think is valuable from the experience is that Drew and I are closer in a way that we just weren’t before. We were able to do something really cool together that we never could have expected. And that meant everything to us.”

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