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American Inventor Winner Is Greg Chavez

August 01, 2007 09:10 PM by Joe Blackmon

Greg_chavez_winnerOn the season finale of American Inventor 2, the three finalists Greg
Chavez, Elaine Cato, and Ricky DeRennaux returned.  Greg Chavez
invented the Guardian Angel, which is a fire safety system for
Christmas trees.  Elaine Cato invented the 6-in-1 Convertible
Brassiere, which is a traditional brassiere that converts into six
configurations.  Ricky DeRennaux invented Custom Build Racers, which is
a kit to build remote controlled vehicles.

After a review segment on some other inventors, the three finalists stood on center stage waiting to learn who would be the first finalist eliminated.  Host Nick Smith announced that Ricky DeRennaux was the first finalist eliminated.  When asked what he would remember most, Ricky DeRennaux said “The inventors, great people, and these guys [acknowledging the judges] who pushed me just a little bit further than I wanted to be pushed.  It’s been a ride.”  Benjamin Dermer, the Director of Inventor Relations from Spinmaster, invited Ricky DeRennaux to their headquarters to talk about putting HT Racers into toy stores.
Rejected American Inventor contestant Silvio DiSalvatore and the Black Cougar returned to energize the crowd.  Before host Nick Smith announced which of the two remaining finalists had won, he introduced them to two special guests.  Tom Russo, President & CEO of First Alert, told Greg Chavez that they would like to work with him to make Guardian Angel a household product.  Norah Alberto, Senior Style Director at Maidenform, told Elaine Cato that they would like to fly her and her family out to their headquarters to explore the possibility of bringing her backless bra to market.

After video messages from the families of the two finalists, host Nick Smith revealed that the winner of American Inventor 2007 was Greg Chavez.  When asked how he was feeling, Greg Chavez said “It’s amazing.  It’s amazing.  A year ago I was sitting in the chair at the house and I was watching the show and I said to my wife I’m going to win next year.  She said ‘I know you are.’”  As his prize for winning American Inventor, Greg Chavez received a check for one million dollars.

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20 Responses to “American Inventor Winner Is Greg Chavez”

  1. Richard Ginn Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 8:21 am

    He was the only one out he three that should have won the whole thing imo.

  2. Ell Fields Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 9:20 am

    The guardian angel was the best product on the basis of saving lives and making people feel “warm inside”. But Elaine’s 6-n-1 bra has the best potential to make it on the market and be sold worldwide. Think about the liability Greg will have on his hands if his product flaws in a time of need. One ounce of negative publicity and he won’t have the national sponsors backing him up. I think his concept was the best, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see it hitting the shelves anytime soon. Elaine’s bra, on the other hand, could be in stores tomorrow; she just needs a good design team and marketing group to make it attractive to the public.

  3. Jessica Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I’m so glad that Greg Chavez and Guardian Angel. This one invention could help save millions of lives. As for it’s possible failure, all inventions have to start somewhere. The smoke detector that we are all required to have in our homes started somewhere, and I’m sure it needed to be tweaked before it sold, too. Congratulations Greg!!

  4. Alex Thony Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 10:32 am

    I think the 6 in 1 bra created by Elaine should have won the grand prize. Just because it doesn’t save lives does not mean it’s not worthy of the grand prize.

    Hopefully they both go to market, and make lots of money for these two individuals.

  5. Doc Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Did anyone catch the Mythbusters Christmas special where they did the same experiment on a Christmas tree? If I remember correctly, they dried out the tree and put on a brand new set of lights and ran them non-stop. The lights never got hot enough to ignite the tree. The also tried to create a typical short to start and fire and had no luck. I think they ended up rigging the plug and doing something so extreme to cause a fire. Long story short, I don’t think the Guardian Angel is going to be needed for more than “piece of mind”.

    Also, water is not the safest way to extinguish an electrical fire. I’m surprised that him being a fire fighter wouldn’t know that. He should have designed the system to be a type C discharge.

    Nonetheless he seemed like a super nice guy who genuinely cared and that makes it somewhat satisfying.

  6. stephanie Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    I think Elanine should have won. that is something that America needs. There are a lot women who can’t find the right bra for all outfits. Sometimes you wont buy something becuase you don’t have the right bra. I think guardian angel is okay but i would not buy it for my home.

  7. stephanie Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    I think Elanine should have won. that is something that America needs. There are a lot women who can’t find the right bra for all outfits. Sometimes you wont buy something becuase you don’t have the right bra. I think guardian angel is okay but i would not buy it for my home.

  8. Michele Williams Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Elanine, you are awesome. I loved your product and would buy it in a heartbeat. The winner I think had a great idea, but how realistic is it that it will work and more so than that, how can you convince the consumers that this is a product that they will want to buy? I don’t own a tree and if I did, I probably would not buy one.

  9. Richard Ginn Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 5:52 pm


    This links says over 400 Christmas tree fires happen each year.

    This one says only 200 a year occur:


    This one goes with a 300 a year average:


    I will agree the 6-1 bra will be more marketable and will sell more than the Guardian Angel product imo.

    I do think the Guardian Angle is the better invention though. To me it even had the most WOW factor to me out of the final three inventions. It was the most important invention out of the final three as well.

  10. Richard Ginn Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Too bad we did not get an update on last years finalists though???

    Would have been nice to caught up with the Word Ace game developer and the baby seat developer again.

  11. a viewer Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    KT racers was the best – what a disapointment – the bra lady a close second – and that christmas tree idea was ludicrious. Water?

  12. Jeff Chavez Says:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Greg is my older brother and we’re really happy about his accomplishment. And really thankful to all who supported him! If you missed the episode, you can check it out here:

  13. Ryan Says:
    August 3rd, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    I just wanted to say one thing. If the Gardian angel saves only one life, than it deserved to win, hands down.
    If it saves only one life, than the 12 years greg spent on it, was worth it. Im sure he feels the same way.

  14. qpki upsqiojy Says:
    August 5th, 2007 at 8:16 am

    xrfjga ujcx thqe wcnsamfb zibosxw pbjlo wehfz

  15. vxdoqjabk kjcofish Says:
    August 5th, 2007 at 8:21 am

    phvrimzu udklvrx opibcafs zajskxf heuzxt mebkoug fpxq [URL= Donna Says:
    August 5th, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    My intuition was correct. Elanine had my vote until I saw Mr. Chavez’s idea. I did not vote for Mr. Chavez (phone/text), once I saw his idea – how could he lose? It was inevitable! Two words …

  16. Kelly Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Everyone complains about the use of water to suppress the fire… hasn’t anyone ever hear of automatic fire sprinkler systems? They are installed in so many buildings around the world so obviously it is safer than many are making it out to be.

  17. Kat Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 10:56 am

    yes, all three inventions and inventors are great… everyone can agree. Their inventions are marketable and will go on to improve and sell when they are put on shelves no doubt. But America voted and made it apparent which one is more marketable. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. How many inventions like Guardian Angel have we seen on the shelf? I haven’t seen one. How many types of backless/strap variation bras have we seen… or how many remote control toys have we seen? Hundreds, you can’t even keep track of how many. Greg’s invention won because it is new, unique and also gives hope and a solution to a life-threatening problem. Good job Greg and good job to the other inventors as well for producing such great products.

  18. The Guru Says:
    August 8th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    What a shame that I couldn’t get my concept to the show in time. I had designed a 6-in-1 bra, that could extinguish fires from 30 feet away. Yes, the complete package. But these folks are still to be applauded for their efforts, and congratulations to the winner Greg.

  19. Daniel Says:
    November 28th, 2007 at 12:40 am

    The idea of a Christmas tree fire extinguisher was shown as a comedic gag on The Tonight Show December 16, 1993. It got a good laugh. A repeat of the program was shown tonight (11/27/07), due to the union strike.
    I’m sure that Mr. Chavez put time and effort into the project, but it’s not a new idea.


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