Don’t be surprised if you come across a few Warren and Bristol folks as you flip through the TV next Wednesday, Jan. 2: A local family is set to appear on Family Feud.
The family — Warren’s Pattie Sullivan and Diane and Mike Nelson, Susan Daniels of Bristol and Kristin Sullivan of Central Falls — taped an episode of the popular daytime TV game show back in June and already watched it air on Halloween Day. It’ll be shown for a second time on Jan. 2 on Full Channel and Cox TV.
“It’s going to be so exciting!” said Mrs. Nelson.
Taped in Atlanta, the filming was a first for all five members of the Family Feud crew, except for one. Ms. Daniels, of Bristol, appeared on Jeopardy years ago, though she didn’t win. And this time around? See the bottom of the story for a spoiler.
How’d they get on the show?
It all started in March, when Mrs. Nelson was browsing the website for the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, looking for upcoming concerts. Somewhere on the site she came across a notice of an upcoming audition for the show, and sent e-mails to her sisters and sister-in-law.
“They said they were into it!” she said.
So on April Fool’s Day, they drove down Route 95 to Foxwoods and took their turns with dozens of other families. It was a fun family activity for the tight-knit sisters, who try to get together as often as possible. Once they got to the auditions they played two simulated rounds, then went on their way after a few hours. A few weeks later, Ms. Nelson got a postcard in the mail saying they might be chosen, and a follow-up telephone call a few weeks later confirming that they’d be flown out to Atlanta for taping in June.
The time between the postcard and call was the toughest, Mrs. Nelson said:
“It was kind of like waiting for jury duty. You didn’t know if you were going to get called back or not.”
From there on it, it was all-out “Family Feud boot camp,” Ms. Nelson joked.
“I put them all through boot camp. I bought the Wii version, I had them over so we could practice. I played it on the phone and on computers.”
They did that for months, until flying to Atlanta on June 7 for a taping on the ninth. From the moment they arrived, Family Feud staff made them feel at home, bringing them to their hotel room and offering encouraging words. When they were taken to the studio two days later, “everyone was great.”
Host Steve Harvey, in particular, “was so funny. I don’t think I stopped smiling my entire time.”
Did they win?
The Nelsons squared off against a family from Alabama. During the big money round at the end, when one member of each family goes to the buzzer to try to take control of the questions and win big, the other family was quicker at the buzzer. From there, that family gave every correct answer and ended up winning.
“We didn’t even have an opportunity to answer,” Mrs. Nelson said. “But it was a blast. We had nothing to lose, just gain.”
Even better, Mr. Harvey said that because of a glitch during the show, they were welcome to come back next year for another episode.
“So we have another shot at it!”