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[07/19/07 - 07:42 PM]
American Inventor Announces the Six Finalists to Compete for the Million-Dollar Grand Prize
The Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Houston and Tampa winners will now all compete in a two-hour special on Wednesday, July 25.

[via press release from ABC]

"AMERICAN INVENTOR" ANNOUNCES THE SIX FINALISTS TO COMPETE FOR THE MILLION-DOLLAR GRAND PRIZE

On last night's exciting episode of "American Inventor," the show's expert panel of judges named the last two finalists, who now join the previously announced four finalists to vie for the million-dollar grand prize and the chance to become the next great American Inventor. National casting calls were held in six major cities across the country -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Houston and Tampa. Thousands of inventors, tinkerers and entrepreneurs of all ages applied.

Using the criteria of innovation, mass appeal, marketability and passion, the judges selected one winner from each city to receive $50,000, a ticket to Los Angeles, and one month to perfect their invention with the dream of seeing their product on shelves across the country and winning the one million dollar grand prize. Following is a rundown of the six finalists:

� Los Angeles Winner:

Ricky DeRennaux, a school teacher from Oklahoma, describes his Custom Build Racers invention as, "The design and fabrication of custom vehicles through the use of computers and patented tools. Intended for use by individuals and groups ages 13 and up for entertainment and educational purposes, my invention is a kit that lets teens design, engineer and build remote controlled vehicles."

� San Francisco Winner:

Gregg Chavez, a firefighter from Camarillo, California, describes his Guardian Angel invention as, "A small, pressurized tank of water, disguised as a Christmas package, that is placed under the Christmas tree and attached to a small hose leading to the top of the tree, where a fusible link is disguised as an angel. The heat from a fire pops the link and water suppresses the fire. There is also an alarm that works without a battery�intended to suppress (not fully extinguish) a Christmas tree fire and sound an alarm to get people out of the house alive."

� Chicago Winner:

Elaine Cato, a realtor from Tennessee, describes her 6-in-1 Convertible Brassiere invention as, "A convertible brassiere that accommodates the full wardrobe of small frame women with a "C" cup or above. This is a traditional brassiere that converts into six configurations and affords the full back to be exposed with comfort because there is no mid-section and it can be worn with full wardrobe."

� New York Winner:

David Moeller & Craig Forest, a team of two former Georgia Tech University buddies who now attend MIT grad-school and Harvard Business Graduate School, respectively, describe their invention they call The Claw as, "A ceiling or wall-mounted bicycle storage mechanism. Any cyclist who is frustrated with a lack of secure, simple, elegant storage options would use our invention. The bicycle wheel is grasped by opposing hooks when the central plunger is depressed. Re-pressing the central plunger opens and locks the hooks for bicycle wheel removal. The bi-stable plunger relies on an internal rotary mechanism."

� Houston Winner:

Joseph & Mike Miller, two brothers from Missouri � one an engineer, one retired � describe their Wrap-a-Way Cabinet/Gift Wrapper invention as, "A gift wrapping station for storing/organizing gift-wrapping paper that provides a method for scissor-less cutting with a safety cutter while holding a tape dispenser for hands-free taping and dispensing. 1) Kitchen Cabinet made to hold and dispense paper towels, food wraps and baggies. 2) A Gift wrap work station that holds 25 rolls of paper, with a tape dispenser and scissor-less cutting."

� Tampa Winner:

Denise & George Tucker, a married couple from Ft. Lauderdale, where they own a psychic shop, describe their EZT4U invention as, "A simple, inexpensive replacement basket for the common electric coffee brewing machine. It automates the control of water temperature and steeping time, two critical components in the proper brewing of loose-leaf tea. This brew-basket is for every person who would like to drink brewed, loose-leaf tea and desires the convenience of automation. The purpose of the invention is to provide a simple, inexpensive, automatic device to brew loose-leaf tea."

In the special two-hour episode of "American Inventor," airing WEDNESDAY, JULY 25 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network, host Nick Smith sends the inventors to participate in focus group testing. Then the inventors meet with their chosen team of experts to design, create and package their invention, working within the $50,000 budget. Each inventor must struggle to make the right decisions and race against the clock to complete their prototype and plan their presentations to the judges, who will choose three of the best inventions while sending the other three home. America will then be called upon to vote to determine who will win the million-dollar prize and the title of American Inventor, which will be revealed in the season finale episode on August 1.

"American Inventor's" panel of expert judges are businessman/former heavyweight champion/ordained minister George Foreman, British tycoon Peter Jones, entrepreneur Pat Croce and Spanx creator Sara Blakely. Nick Smith hosts.

"American Inventor" is produced by FremantleMedia North America, Simon Cowell's Syco Television and Peter Jones TV Ltd. Simon Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Siobhan Greene, Peter Jones and Clay Newbill are executive producers. Dug James and Tabitha Hansen are co-executive producers.

This program is broadcast with Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate.





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