March 23, 2006 11:24 PM by Joe Blackmon
The critics may hate American Inventor, but viewers have made the show a hit. While the two-hour premiere did seem to be padded at points, the second episode moves at a much faster pace. One of the things that will frustrate and also appeal to viewers is that the judges seem somewhat inconsistent on which inventors they put through to the next round. They praise some people for their dedication to their invention while turning others away.
Brian Conant is the inventor of the flatulence deodorizer. The device is worn in the underwear and eliminates the smell of gas. Peter Jones says “It’s the noise not the smell that creates the embarrassment.” All four judges pass on the invention.
Erik Thompson is the inventor of the receiver’s training pole. The receiver’s training pole teaches a receiver to catch the ball with his hands. Ed Evangelista and Mary Lou Quinlan give the invention the thumbs up, but Doug Hall doesn’t think it has a large enough market. As Peter Jones ponders whether to put Erik through or not, Erik compliments Peter on his tie. The flattery pays off, and Peter casts the final and deciding yes vote.
Georgina Huerta is the inventor of the naughty knot lingerie. The invention is basically lingerie that looks like a bow that comes undone with one easy tug. As the model for the invention reveals herself, Mary Lou Quinlan becomes offended and goes off on the two women. Mary Lou starts to walk out and comes back with her coat to covers up the model. Mary Lou tells them Georgina to grow up and get a job and asks her to leave.
Marc Griffin is the inventor of bulletball and bulletball extreme. Marc believes bulletball will be an Olympic sport. Bulletball is a game where players try to roll a ball past each other on a table. Marc sold everything to create bulletball and is living in his car. Peter Jones tells Marc it’s not going to happen with this and tells him to go get a job and get his life back. Mary Lou says “You’ve told us that you’ve given twenty-six years of your life to this game. I think that’s more of a life than a man can give to a dream. Please get your life back.” All four judges say “no.”
Sharon Clemens is the inventor of a public restroom door clip. The clip acts to hold a broken restroom door closed. The invention doesn’t look like more than a potato chip bag clip re-purposed. However, all four judges give a unanimous “yes.”
Darla Davenport-Powell is the inventor of the here comes Niya doll. Niya is a doll with a voice chip that speaks multiple languages. Ed Evangelista says yes, but Doug Hall says no. Mary Lou Quinlan believes it can be a marketing success, and Peter Jones give the last and deciding yes vote.
Jahnesta Horney is the inventor of invisible tear gas. Jahnesta points out that with regular tear gas enemies can see it and put on masks in advance, but with his invisible tear gas hits them with no warning. All four judges compliment his inventiveness but pass on his invention.
Richard Koppelle is the inventor of my therapy buddy. My therapy buddy is basically a big doll for adults that says “Everything is going to be alright.” Ed Evangelista says “If I walk down the street with that thing, they’ll lock me up.” All four judges say “no.”
Jodi Pliszeka is the inventor of the headliner. The headliner is an absorbable pad that absorbs sweat for people wearing a wig, hat, etc. Half the judges say yes, and the other half say no, so it looks like Jodi will be going home. However, Mary Lou Quinlan gives an impassioned plea for the other judges to reconsider. Doug Hall refuses to change his answer, but Peter Jones does change to a yes.
Part of the appeal of American Inventor will likely be second-guessing the judges. Why do they let some inventors through based purely on their passion for their invention while turning away others? What makes a potato chip bag clip used to hold a bathroom door closed more amazing than a game called bulletball? In the end, it will probably be Marc Griffin’s passionate plea for his bulletball game that viewers will remember about this episode over any of the inventions that actually make it through to the next round.