CBC Gem’s new competition series Best in Miniature takes small things seriously.
Hosted by writer and stand-up comedian, Aba Amuquandoh (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), this show has gathered 11 highly skilled artists from across the globe (discovered via Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube) to compete in the ultimate challenge: Building their dream home in miniature-form. Tasked with painstaking details (and deadlines), competitors are asked to create their houses room by room by shrinking life-size objects down to a 1:12 scale.
While the projects may be tiny, stress and resilience play huge for coming out on top. The challenges, set by the expert judges, test contestants’ miniature craft and design skills to the max, with only one ultimately being crowned Best in Miniature.
ADDICTED recently spoke with Aba Amuquandoh and expert judge Emma Waddell about the hotly anticipated series and what it takes to build tiny homes with such big stakes.
ADDICTED: What drew both of you to being part of Best in Miniature?
Aba: Watching people make miniatures has always been very soothing for me. I’d always see videos on my timeline of miniature builds, but it was like a private hobby I never shared. So, when I was asked to audition to be the host I was like, “wait… how do you know about my secret obsession”?
Emma: I wanted to highlight that dollhouses aren’t just for kids, they are in fact beautifully crafted collector’s pieces and I hoped the show would show the craft at its best.
How extensive was the search to bring together all these talented people?
Emma: It was worldwide; lots of research was done to find talented craftspeople, but I don’t think anyone realized how diverse the characters and what they created would be. The skill sets were also incredibly different.
Aba: Ya, what I like is that no one was safe in their comfort zone. Everyone was pushed out of it with some hilarious consequences.
What separates an excellent miniaturist from an average one?
Emma: An eye for scale, realism and detail. A trick is if it was photographed would you think it was real? The best compliment you can get as a miniaturist is “I thought it was a real room”; if it looks like a model, you have failed.
Conversely speaking, what can be detrimental to a miniaturist?
Emma: Being over-confident; ask someone else to look over what you have made with a critical eye, it’s hard when you make something to realize it doesn’t actually look like a real thing. Critique is hard to accept as we all want to be perfectionists, the contestants are no exception.
Why are miniatures such a phenomenon now?
Aba: There’s been a few TV shows recently, but it’s always been huge I feel, just maybe not in the spotlight so much, from mini food, to flowers to animals. You can even get a min of you 3D printed! Lockdown all over the world has got us looking in our attics and finding our dollhouses and thinking what can I do with this.
What do you hope Best in Miniature achieves with audiences?
Aba: The big takeaway is how tender the contestants are about their craft – so I hope people really get to see how advanced their skill level is. I hope the viewers love the miniatures and the artists so much that they try their hands at making miniatures themselves. We had such a sweet group of contestants and I just hope they get so many followers and people buy their work.
Emma: I know it will show what can be achieved with little time and precious little materials. We are frightened sometimes at attempting things that look hard, well these talented people will show you how it’s done before your eyes, they were also under pressure and had no idea what the challenges would be, imagine that? If they can do it, then watch and learn, they can make something brilliant from cardboard to an old toothbrush.