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American Inventor: Erik Thompson Advances To Final Four

April 20, 2006 11:21 PM by Joe Blackmon

Erik_thompsonTo narrow the final twelve down to the final four, American Inventor is having each judge work with three inventors and then select one inventor to go forward.  The first three inventors to face elimination are Erik Thompson, Sheryl McDonald, and Mark Martinez.  Judge Ed Evangelista spends time with each inventor, giving them advice on their inventions. 

Ed tells Erik that he is concerned about the limited market potential of the Receiver’s Training Pole, Ed tells Cheryl that her Un-brella has a negative name, and Ed tells Mark that the Sackmaster 200 looks like a toy.  Each inventor has $50,000 to further develop their product. 

All  three inventors get some negative feedback from focus groups.  Even before Ed Evangelista’s decision is revealed, the show’s editing makes it obvious who is going forward.  Erik Thompson faces mounting financial problems at home, but he steadfastly maintains a positive never-say-die attitude.  Erik works hard with his designers and makes considerable progress in improving the look of his product.  Erik also shows a video demonstrating a real life example of his product improving a receiver’s catching ability.

Sheryl McDonald struggles to make a decision on the design of her product and has to call her life partner for advice.  Sheryl’s prototype turns out not to have a working launch mechanism, and it experiences some failures during testing. 

Mark Martinez refuses to change anything about the design of his product but the color, and he actually goes as far as to fire his design team.  Mark doesn’t feel that he needs to spend all the money on altering his product so he spends $2,500 on himself.  Despite the fact that Mark does little to change his Sackmaster, the video test of his product makes a compelling argument for the effectiveness of his product.  An average family is actually able to fill more sandbags with the Sackmaster than experienced relief workers are able to fill using the traditional two-man method. 

Sheryl McDonald was never really in the race as she failed to adequately prove that her product would work.  However, Mark Martinez was correct in believing his product was farther along than the other products, but unfortunately that doesn’t make for compelling TV.  Erik Thompson was the only one that delivered both a useful product as well as compelling story, and Erik Thompson earned Ed’s final four spot.   

Reality TV Magazine is your source for American Inventor news.  For other great American Inventor news, please also check out SirLinksALot: American Inventor.

Topics: American Inventor |

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8 Responses to “American Inventor: Erik Thompson Advances To Final Four”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    April 20th, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    I think Ed made a great decision.

  2. WELL Says:
    April 21st, 2006 at 12:20 am


  3. thinkoutsidethecircle Says:
    April 21st, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    This Sunday night, April 23, at 9:30PM EST Doug Hall will be stopping by http://www.americaninventorspot.com to do a LIVE blog. We’ve been getting insane traffic, and I guess, the judges have taken notice. He has agreed to do a no-holds-barred blog. Our comments section will be on, and he will be responding to all intelligent comments. Please, no whining. If you have a question, articulate it well instead of just whining that so and so didn’t move on. Ask why they didn’t – what was his reason for voting yes or no.

    So come on down. Check out the site. Bookmark it. Check out the invention gallery and wacky products. Join our growing group – we’ve had over 50,000 visits in the last 20 days. Not bad for the little blog that could.

  4. Sue Says:
    April 22nd, 2006 at 12:17 am

    I think that the only reason that Ed kept this guy is because of his sob story. He didn’t vote for the product, he voted with sympathy. The product is dumb, it will not sell well. It is not universally appealing. The Inbrella would have been useful for EVERYONE. I also think that race played a factor. He didn’t want to appear racist by elimidating the black guy.

  5. samma Says:
    April 23rd, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    Is anyone here going to join in as Doug Hall is the live guest blogger at http://www.AmericanInventorSpot.com.

    I think its on at 9:30 pm eastern time and it should be a doozy of a discussion.

  6. Tip-Master 2000 Says:
    April 27th, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    Mark is just too stupid to be on TV. This guy was so arrogant that he would not listen to anyone. This is the mark of a failure. At one point the consultants were pleading with him to consider options and he shut them down with his closed mind.

    The focus group (a small woman) said that the product needed to be more compact. NO TESTS were done to prove if a smaller Sackmaster would work for smaller people. Additionally, this dope would not consider other market opportunities, for example this product in a smaller configuration would make a cool child toy for the sandbox or the beach.

    Hey spud brain you become a hero by heroic acts not by being a jackass. You had 30 days and $50,000.00 to make something useful into something really wanted by the market place yet you squander not only time but resources on your idiocy and vanity.

    Mark Martinez Sackmaster 2000 = California’s biggest fool.

  7. mary pecci Says:
    April 28th, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    Would you please tell me who won on AMERICAN INVENTOR on April 28? I missed the final 10 minutes of the program.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Why don’t you create AMERICAN READING TEACHER and have each contestant demonstrate their reading method with 5 to 10 dyslexic nonreaders – to see which reading method claim is really true? This would be a GREAT service to the nation and would override all of the establishment coverup of so-called “scientifically researched” reading programs – which haven’t made a dent in illiteracy statistics while billions of dollars continue to be poured in.

    Mary Pecci

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