The fourth season of the reality competition series Lego Masters is in full swing and although married couple Brad Bergman and Mike Tarrant had the opportunity to show off their building block talent.
Married for five years now, Bergman has been a lifelong LEGO builder and once began dating, the LEGO bug bit Tarrant and he got into it. The first challenge, they had to build a party boat. Although they built their best boat, it wasn’t enough to stay in the competition and they were eliminated. Even so, they left with a smile and succeeded in representing a happy, married gay couple, which is always an inspiration for young queer people to see on TV.
GLAAD had the chance to chat with Bergman and Tarrant about being on the show and how the iconic toy brought them together.
For each of you, what was your first memory of LEGO?
BERGMAN: I distinctly remember having LEGO as a child and sitting on the living room floor with “tons” of LEGO spread around to build with. I received my first actual set — versus just building blocks — which was set #6382 Fire Station, and later when I owned my first home my parents sent me my childhood LEGO collection. It wasn’t as massive as I’d remembered as a child and fit into a small draw-string bag. I still have all those bricks and the Fire Station set to this day.
TARRANT: I had the metal building girder toy, Gilbert Erector sets, as a kid. It fit well with my goal to be an inventor someday that later led me to engineering. In 2002 when I bought my brother’s minivan he said, “you’ll probably find lots of LEGO left behind from the kids.” Sure enough, it was under the seats and hidden in other places.
How did LEGO bring you together?
BERGMAN: I had opened a LEGO resale store in Everett in 2017. Mike and I first met online in December 2017, and while we had chatted online quite a bit, our first in-person meeting was when Mike came to visit my store.
TARRANT: Brad was working long days at his store and I would drive there to meet him before we went on dates. I watched him interact with the customers, and especially the kids, and he was so good at sharing his love of LEGO. He would listen to them talk about their projects or their MOCs [“My Own Creations”] and help them find parts in the bulk tables. It was these interactions that led me to see that he was husband material.
What made you want to be on the show?
BERGMAN: I’ve always enjoyed watching LEGO Masters and had auditioned for season 2. The casting producers wanted me to have a teammate and I didn’t really have people that I built with. So I asked Mike if he’d like to join me. We had only been married a few months and Mike said, “No, I want to stay married to you.” I had stayed in touch with the casting producers since that time and they contacted me when casting was starting for Season 4, inquiring if we were interested in re-applying.
TARRANT: Brad messaged me in late January while I was in a meeting and asked me to call him. He never does this. I knew it was important. We talked and Brad told me that we had been approached to audition for season 4. I was ready for an adventure and knew we would have a lot of fun, so I said “Yes, let’s do it.”
What has being on this LEGO journey done for your marriage?
BERGMAN: Well, we’re still married (laughs)I think just having the time together to participate and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity has been great for us. We decided that no matter the outcome, we were going to have fun together. We had some struggles with communicating early on, but were able to talk about it, work through it together, and actually come out better on the other side. We also used the time away from work as a bit of a honeymoon as we’d gotten married during the Pandemic and hadn’t been able to have a reception or vacation.
TARRANT: We first met at Brad’s LEGO resale store, and I proposed to him with a LEGO build. Being on LEGO Masters is one of several interesting LEGO events that I’m sure will continue to be part of our lives and marriage. We truly did have fun together.
What is your dream thing to build out of LEGO?
BERGMAN: Hmmm… This is a tough question. I think I’d love to build a working, life sized LEGO treehouse someday.
TARRANT: A full sized Burning Man art car? Or, something complicated and science-y.
Lego Masters airs 9 p.m. Thursdays on FOX.