There wasn't a bottle of Oxiclean or a ShamWow anywhere. But there was Dawn Stephens' nifty new, all-in-one toilet-bowl-cleaning brush.
"We don't have to look for the cleaning liquid and the brush. The cleaning liquid is right inside the brush!" the chirpy, singsongy Stephens shouted in delight as she pitched her invention Wednesday to a panel of judges that included infomercial king AJ Khubani.
Khubani, founder of the Telebrands "As Seen on TV" products company, has made a fortune hawking products like the Ped Egg (to trim calluses off your feet) and has spent the better part of three decades looking for the next hot thing to sell to insomniacs hooked on late-night TV.
But in this era of endless reality TV and get-rich-and-famous-quick schemes, Khubani is changing his entrepreneurial approach. Instead of trotting the globe looking for the next Thighmaster or inviting inventors to his New Jersey headquarters to show him a next-generation Clapper that he can sell for a cut of the profits, he's assembled an "American Idol"-like panel of judges and taken them on the road.
The group plans stops at several other, still-to-be-determined cities, and it is unclear how many inventors they will pick to promote. There is no reality show yet, but television cameras are filming – in case Khubani strikes a television deal.
Photo by michale