Michelle Douvris ’16 / Emertainment MonthlyStaff
A surprise appearance from Seth MacFarlane and an overconfident entrepreneur make for one of the show’s most exciting episodes to date.
Admit it: Reality shows are most entertaining when a bunch of strong personalities are thrown into a room together. ABC’s Shark Tank is certainly no exception. When self-made millionaire and billionaire investors-turned-entrepreneurs Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban all assemble to make up the “shark tank,” anything can happen. These sharp investors can spot brilliant business ideas just as easily as a shark can sniff out blood- and the frenzy of offers and negotiations that make up each episode will leave you feeling lucky that you are not the one in the tank being attacked by these sharks.
Episode 8 of Season 4 starts with Ginelle Mills. To give you a mental picture, just imagine a wholesome stay-at-home mom with perfectly styled hair, a flashy smile, and eyes resembling a bush baby’s. Ginelle’s product that she is pitching to the sharks is the “Cool Wazoo,” a 5-in-1 product that she invented after discovering that a playground swing burnt her child’s legs since it was directly in the sun. The “Cool Wazoo” not only works as a swing cover, but also acts as a shopping cart cover, changing pad, restaurant high chair cover, and car shade. Despite Ginelle’s creative invention, she clearly lacks some necessary business skills to propel the product forward and the sharks are able to sniff this out a mile away. Mark Cuban is hesitant to make an offer, but one thing he knows for sure: “You’ve got great faces, I gotta give you that.” Once Ginelle’s pitch goes downhill and all sharks are out, she breaks down crying. Yet while one would think this would negatively affect her chances at closing a deal, her passion and persistence sparks something in Lori. Thanks to this shark’s change of heart, you might just be able to buy a “Cool Wazoo” for your baby after all.
Next up is Bruce Gaither, a professional polo player turned horse trainer who also gives horseback riding lessons to the rich and famous. His product, the “No Fly Cone,” gets rid of flies. But this is not your average insect repellent. Bruce’s invention involves a unique requirement: horse or dog excrement. His pitch leaves the sharks unimpressed until a very special friend walks out to join him by the name of Seth MacFarlane. Seth claimed to be one of Bruce’s clients, as Shark Tank frequently features celebrities as spokespeople for various products. However, Seth failed to get Bruce an offer from the sharks but he definitely succeeded in generating buzz for his highly anticipated hosting gig of the 85th Annual Academy Awards.
The third and final pitch of the episode may actually have made for one of the most intense negotiations in Shark Tank history. Michael Tseng, a young and eager businessman, presented his product “Plate Topper” to the sharks: a microwave- and dishwasher-safe plastic cover that could suction itself to a plate to conveniently preserve food. After hearing about Michael’s early success with the product, the sharks were all ready to attack. Michael initially sought $90,000 for a 5% stake in his company, but Lori was willing to add a zero to her offer, increasing the $90,000 to $900,000. But it did not stop there. Daymond threw in an offer of $1 million. Michael tried to keep his cool and feel out all of the sharks’ offers, but they mistook this for greed and slyness and soon things began to turn against his favor. His attempt to negotiate the best possible offer almost cost him a deal. Kevin quipped, “Wow, we may actually watch a guy with a fantastic business walk outta here with nothing,” to which Robert added, “potentially the best product we’ve ever seen.” Moments like this are what make Shark Tank a quality reality show. You can have all the confidence and business expertise in the world, but once you’re face-to-face with the sharks, anything can happen.