Seriously, if I have to endure any more "highlight" montages I might commit hara-kiri. Basically, we saw three inventions compete head-to-head with the improvements afforded by ABC's monetary encouragement: Martinez's Sacmaster, McDonald's In-brella, and Thompson's Catch. Ed served as mentor and final judge in determining which of the three would advance to the final final round (isn't the traditional format preliminaries, semi-finals, and then finals? This show's format is wackier than the contestants.). At the beginning of the episode, I predicted success for the reverse umbrella but felt vindicated nonetheless when the football-training vest scored the winning touchdown.

The sandbagger did not advance due to its inventor's arrogance and narrow-mindedness. He said multiple times that his product was "95% ready" and refused to refine it with the money provided him. Inexplicably, the only adjustments he saw fit to incorporate were a color change, a shoddy strap, and a new suit. Martinez seemed convinced that all that was required in this competition was presentation. I understand that his field test, a practical demonstration of relief workers in storm-torn New Orleans using their traditional method touting the practical superiority of the Sacmaster, should have been convincing enough. However, the lesson we learn here is that when life gives you $50,000 you best make magical golden lemonade, NOT a different cardboard carton.

As I mentioned before, a shield that inverts to further protect its user from that last shake of rain has the broadest market potential of all the products we've witnessed. Everyone on the planet uses an umbrella (except for people in Seattle, who seem to have given up completely). Again, McDonald unfolded a design significantly progressed from her last. The fabric slipped into the handle rather than into a plastic tube that essentially doubled the length. I believe that although McDonald failed to advance to the final four, she has real potential. Now, if only she can develop an umbrella that never disappears'¦

As for Thompson, let's overlook his reasoning that he should advance because his name is spelled within American Inventor since he spells his name with a K. This man is the definition of pluck. I confess I shed a tear for his victory out of sheer happiness. Despite my total aversion to physical exertion, including spectator sports, I would be a fool to deny that football is HUGE. Thompson is right to rely on the thousands of kids who want nothing more than to make the team and the parents who sometimes want it more than their kids do. I cannot speak intelligently about whether the product actually works, but the video footage of the high school team that caught passes they previously consistently fumbled after only three days with the Catch vest certainly convinced me. Let's just hope he invests in a new shirt before the last episode.

I don't look forward to suffering through an hour of Mary Lou next week, but I am ravenous to know whether it's the double bike, the portable gym, or the other one that I can't remember that rises to the top.

Thanks to "simmsays" for alerting us to the blog (s)he contributes to, where you can find a complete recap of last night's episode.