American Inventor

LampThanks to those nice people at Virgin1, we’re getting the second series  of American Inventor, and it’s not going to disappoint.

First, there is the Panel of Judges:

George Foreman. Duh? A boxer who made his money from bashing people’s brains out and getting a cut of the purse the sight attracted, then making another fortune by getting a cut of the profits made when he allowed his already famous name to be plastered on a less than notable grill that would sell for a lot less if it didn’t need to pay for the label with his name stuck on it. He’s the ‘Nice Guy’.

Some sort of millionaire life coach. A breed I hold in high contempt, as they just massage the egos of the super-rich, and get a wad of cash for doing it. On the back of their famous clients’ names and success, they then sell books, courses, DVDs and other tat, so raking in piles of cash from wannabes.

Things get better when we get to the female section of the panel, and the founder of a range of innovative underwear. She at least earned her wedge by creating and marketing something successfully, even the eventual success probably had more to do with ‘who she knew’ than ‘what it did’.

Then there’s British member (who has already been subject to a racist attack from an unsuccessful candidate), who provides the sensible side of things, and keeps the rest of the panel in check, since although only three Yes votes are needed for success, he can register dissent. He’s not the ‘Nice Guy’. This turns out to be more useful than expected, as Mr Foreman say Yes to just about anything. The other two members of the panel tend to be more realistic.

Coincidentally, BBC7 just finished a short series about the relatively poor deal inventors get in the UK, and it was interesting to compare and contrast the approach taken in the two countries. It’s easy to see that the figures quoted in the BBC programme were sadly accurate, where they reflected on the sad scenario where only 2% of British inventions get anywhere in their own country, and are lost to the country as a potential source of revenue when their inventors take them to America, when they chances of getting financial backing are much, much higher.

The first programme was enlightening, with the American inventions largely being as crazy as this Brit expected (Peter Jones’ face is a picture at times), with the presentation of two psychos in the first offering, with one being escorted from the stage/building when he proved unable to accept the No vote awarded to his ‘wonderful’ idea.

It’s going to be a great series, and there may even be some genuinely innovative ideas emerging.

They may have kept it until last, but the Guardian Angel, invented by real life fireman Greg Chavez, and intended to automatically quench Christmas tree fires, was the clear winner – and put all the other trivial stuff to shame.

It’s almost a pity that the programmes are repeatsin, and we know he will be the eventual winner, but we’ll forget that for now, and just enjoy the show.

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