You noticed that too, eh ?
Not only did the designs seem quite "contrived" (as in having the basic plans more or less handed to them) but some of the material looked "planted" to me as well.
I thought about possibly enlisting a professional auto mechanic or an electrician, but decided against it cause of the point that Fred makes on it - lack of imagination.
If we are to excell in this, using (more or less) standard-issue approaches just ain't gonna do it, and I would prefer to veer away from that and rely more on an unbiased viewpoint.
If they just hand us the plans and plant the parts, welllll...we shall just see what workarounds we can manage....believe me, there is enough fudge-factor in any design for a little "imagination".
As for the "angle" that'd likely get us on the show, i'd bet it has about jack to do with actual mechanical ability, and a lot to do with showmanship...and they want a show, we can give em one.
Us three "crafty old bastards" can play a stereotype quite well, and I say we play to it.