Kevin O’Leary is known for his harsh responses to weak pitches, but usually entrepreneurs are able to shake off the tough criticism and continue on with their pitches. Some, however, turn into a quivering mess upon hearing O’Leary’s voice. These are a few of Shark Tank‘s most notable waterworks:
1. Scratch & Grain
The ladies of Scratch & Grain just couldn’t control their emotions when they pitched their cookie baking kits to the Sharks. O’Leary certainly didn’t help matters, although these gals arguably would have shed tears with or without his involvement.
2. Wee Can Shop
Technically, O’Leary didn’t make Kimberly Foley cry; she cried all on her own while thinking about how badly she and her fellow entrepreneur needed the Sharks’ help. However, O’Leary did make Foley visibly wince when he commented, “You know what I’d be crying about? The fact you’re not making a profit.”
3. Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory
Not only did Mr. Tod’s Pie Factory pitch involve tears, it also involved a fight between the Sharks. Robert Herjavec seemed to think that it was OK for somebody as passionate as Tod Wilson to cry while pitching, but O’Leary clearly disagreed. He advised Wilson, “Don’t cry for money; it never cries for you.” If anything, these words of wisdom made Wilson more emotional.
4. Mikki Bey Eyelash Extensions
Believe it or not, O’Leary was not the chief source of tension when Mikki Bey pitched her eyelash extension line on Shark Tank. Rather, Bey got some very harsh feedback from Barbara Corcoran, who was not impressed by Bey’s emotional outburst. Corcoran advised Bey to “give up this crying stuff” and objected when Bey claimed that it “takes a lot of strength to show this level of vulnerability.”
5. Tree T-PEE
Johnny Georges desperately wanted to do right by fellow farmers and sell them an affordable product, but Kevin O’Leary wasn’t impressed. He claimed that the only way to get distributors involved and to turn a profit would be to sell Georges’ product for $12, not the $5 Georges preferred. O’Leary’s feedback brought tears to Georges’ eyes, but he somehow managed to hold back those tears long enough to score a deal with another Shark.
Although O’Leary was not always directly involved in making the aforementioned entrepreneurs cry, he did more than his fair share of poking and prodding already emotional individuals. Tonight, however, there was no question as to who was responsible for the tears. Allison DeVane was visibly shaken when O’Leary claimed, “There’s a scene in a famous movie where a trapdoor opens and you fall into a real shark tank. I think we’re almost there.” At the end of the pitch, when all of the Sharks rejected her and Lori Greiner said, “Don’t look at this as a failure,” Mr. Wonderful countered, “Look at this as a failure.” Ouch!
Viewers clearly were not happy with O’Leary’s behavior. Negative responses took over Twitter, with critics claiming that O’Leary kicked DeVane while she was down:
Kevin can be kinda mean sometimes. She knows she screwed that all up. He didn't have to call her a failure like that. #SharkTank
— danielle✧renee (@DanielleRene_90) February 27, 2016
#SharkTank Kevin – that last dig was mean and rude, why kick someone when they're down?!
— Rosalind Hill (@roshtxgirl) February 27, 2016
DeVane’s pitch may not have been the greatest, but O’Leary should have tempered his response. There really is no need to trash an already struggling entrepreneur.