"American" & "Inventor"

Yes, in my continuing effort to disguise lame TV recaps as actual interesting blog entries, I’d like to talk about last night’s finale of American Inventor. When this show hadn’t even premiered yet (about a year before), I heard an interview with Simon Cowell talking about his new inventor show that was created in the format of American Idol. The title for it then was “The Great American Inventor” (obviously that changed).

In any event, I was curious to see it because the concept sounded interesting. Any ‘reality’ show where the contestants only get to the next round based on a creation or idea of their OWN, is cool by me. Project Runway is like this, too. They may be melodramatic and bitchy, but they create their own shit. Project Catwalk (the UK version) is the same.
Anyhoo…the show premiered about 3 months ago and I got immediately sucked in purely based on their comedic audition rounds that populate the first 5 or so episodes of these shows (Project Runway, unfortunately, only uses one episode to show the myriad of shit they have to sift through to get 12 passable ‘designers’). We saw inventions like the Space Beetle Utopia (basically an ant farm for cockroaches, which unfortunately, I do not have a pic of) and the Toe Jam (a doll’s severed foot with duct tape on top and a hole poked through the toe, filled with raspberry jam…seriously – again, no pic). There were LOADS of other useless, idiotic ‘inventions,’ including, but not limited to the following:

The ‘wrist cell phone’: a mobile phone that you strap
to your wrist (thereby marginalizing its mobility)

A Baby Carrier: a carrier for babies
(how very original)

New Guitar Input: He’s moved the guitar amp input from
the front of the guitar to the side. That’s it. (One of my favourite
‘inventions’ in the entire show)

If you need an explanation, jump out the window now.

This guy was my favourite though, having invented the Personal Walk Buddy. Touting it at a ‘security system’ for individuals who are walking; he’s basically invented a stick. His ‘innovations’ on the basic stick design include a mace dispenser (not yet added) and an alarm (also not yet added). If you look closely on his chart you can see the PWB being used to ward off bears and mountain lions (because this ass has seen a lot of those in his time, I’m sure). The funniest bit though, was the way the judges kept patronizingly reminding him that he’d invented a stick, but he continually protested it should be referred to as a ‘wand.’

“So you’ve invented a stick?”
“No, it’s a wand.”

This guy was my personal fave. He invented a tooth flossing system for people with limited upper body mobility. It was certainly a niche item, but it was still pretty ingenius. I believe he didn’t make it past the final 24.

There were a few other good inventions: the woman who invented a door stopper for public restrooms (when the lock doesn’t work), the woman who invented the reverse umbrella (it closes and opens in the opposite direction to present umbrellas to prevent you from getting soaked as you’re getting into and out of your car in the rain), the guy who invented a personal, portable gym system, the guy who invented the ‘Sacmaster 2000″ (basically a tool for making sand bags more quickly – he was eliminated because he was such a tard, though, which was fun), etc.

The four finalists all had pretty neat ideas (some more than others):

This dude invented this word game that students can play in school. It was a very cool idea and the guy is a teacher himself. Unfortunately, for me, he cried at every opportunity which led me to constantly rave that he should have invented himself a backbone and then if he had any time left over, a pair of balls (or at the least, one testosterone producing testicle). The game he created went over very well once a real company and designers got a hold of it and mashed it to shit and rebuilt it. His focus group was VERY positive and encouraging.

This guy invented the Receiver’s Training Pole (*cough*). I had severe issues with the name and was certain that anyone seeing it advertised with no context would surely head over to their local adult novelty store to pick up his invention. In reality, he invented a vest thing that has a large, curved phallic rod in front that prevents you from catching with your hands to your chest but instead forces you to put your hands in front of you. Frankly, if someone wants to blow their load in my face, I won’t need this fucktard’s invention to put my hands out as far as possible. In all seriousness, he invented a football training tool. His focus groups were mixed because as we know, George Bush hates black people.

Then we come to Francisco, the youngest competitor. Being young, he actually still thinks anyone outside of Puerto Rico uses their bicycles as family transportation devices. His invention: The Double Traction Bike. I think a more apt name would have been “My First Family Car” and then he would have at least gotten a sympathy vote. What he came up with, in a nutshell, was a bike with a seat, handlebars and pedals in FRONT of the bike rider, so a friend (or his mother) can ride the same bike. It was an interesting idea, but seriously would never have sold in major cities since what his invention did was ILLEGAL. It is actually illegal in Canada to have someone riding your bike with you, whether it be on the front, the back or under the wheels. I guess these bylaws don’t exist in San Juan. This guy, as well, used histrionics and pathetic tear jerker stories to get sympathy from the judges; despite him being cute, it got REAL grating after the 2nd or 3rd ‘incident.’

“Anyone seen my mom?”

Finally, we have Yanoosh, or Yanusz or who-the-fuck-cares. He invented a safety ‘bubble’ for children riding in the front seat. Apparently, car seats kill children, according to Yani. Seriously, his daughter was killed in a car accident. They never really told us if she was in a car seat, or out of one, or if she was in the bath and the car drove through their house – we just don’t know and I certainly won’t venture a guess (but my guess would be that she wasn’t in a proper car seat and this dude was at the wheel and this ‘invention’ is his was of relieving his guilt). His invention was basically a bubble that you stick your kid into. Through some sort of gyroscope or Elfen magic, when you get into an accident, the kid goes spinning around with the forward energy that is generated by a sudden impact dispersed in a sphere instead of it being dispersed in the sphere of your kid’s head going through the windshield.
My only issue, though, is what about sudden stops? It appeared that his invention was always loose – as in it had no lock that released at the point of impact, so basically you’re travelling around with your kid on a carnival ride the whole time; the little tyke spinning and turning with every sharp turn or stop you have to make to avoid Yanoosh’s other children running around the street because they want their dad to invent something and name it after them.

The finale was much like the rest of the show – a huge American Idol rip (although its done by the same people, so moot point). “The American Public” voted, through phoning, for the winner.

The first person eliminated was Francisco.

“My mom’s gonna kill me.”
He should really walk around with his abs exposed
and his face covered more often.

“Yes, you just passed this up.
Let’s go, dad…you can drive.”

The next eliminated competitor was the Receiver’s Training Rod inventor:

Excessive use of Smedium© shirts will kill your chances, every time.

Then it came down to two – Yanusz and the WordAce guy. The next person eliminated was:

“What the FUCK are you talking about, mother fucker?!”

Which means YANOOSHKA is the winner! YAY! He’s “American” and an “Inventor” – get it?

“Excellent…excellent. Make ready to land our troops
beyond their energy field so that nothing gets off the system.”

All in all, the show was good. The annoying (and not annoying) thing was that every one of them got some kind of contract or help with their invention to make it a reality ANYWAY. They didn’t ‘lose.’
Some people (like Ian) think this made it completely lame and a huge waste of time. But seriously – what isn’t completely lame and a huge waste of time that I like…? NOT MUCH, let me tell you.

Till next time (which will be momentarily, as its Friday).

Categories: ,


~ by seangstm on May 19, 2006.

One Response to “"American" & "Inventor"”

  1. To clarify, the getting-of-contracts was not lame, the entire episode was. For example,
    The host was lame.
    The live feeds were lame.

    Even my dear Francisco was lame when he thought hearing his name was a good thing. Where’d you get that picture of him anyway? Me-ow!

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