Summit County-based family competes on ‘Family Feud’
A Park City family will show the world what ‘the survey says’ when it competes on “Family Feud” this month.
The episode featuring the Wardrop brothers – Jake, Tanner, Carter and Brayden – along with their father Lane is set to air at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, on KSTU.
The brothers, who live in Salt Lake City, grew up in Wanship, and their father still lives in Park City, said Brayden, who served as the family’s spokesman.
“It’s funny because we really didn’t have any intention to do the show,” Brayden said. “We watched ‘Family Feud’ as a family from time to time and thought it was fun and entertaining, but never thought to be on it.”
That changed a little more than a year ago when Lane read about “Family Feud” auditions at Sandy’s South Towne Expo Center, now known as the Mountain America Expo Center.
“He sent a text to our family thread and asked if we wanted to audition, and we thought, ‘Sure, why not?’” Brayden said.
The family created an application video and took a Saturday off in January 2017 to participate.
“We did that not knowing what we were getting into,” Brayden said. “There were hundreds of families in multiple rooms at the center.”
Upon arrival, the men were given a number and shown to a room.
“When they called our number, we played a mock version of the game, but we ended up being there longer than we anticipated,” Brayden said. “We even thought about calling it quits because we felt like we had no chance of making the cut. I mean, there were many other enthusiastic families who were way more dedicated to ‘Family Feud’ than we were.”
Still, the Wardrops stuck it out and participated in a mock game.
“After we finished, we didn’t know how we did, because they didn’t give us any indication whether they liked us or not,” Brayden said. “Upon walking out, a ‘Family Feud’ representative, who was kind of working incognito at the time, pulled us aside and told us we made it to the second round.”
The Wardrops were led to another room where they stayed for another few hours.
“We talked with the main producers and showed them how energetic we were and how we interacted with one another,” Brayden said. “Then we left.”
A few months passed before the family received a postcard.
“It was our invitation to Atlanta, where they tape ‘Family Feud,’” Brayden said.
The Wardrops were in Atlanta for two days.
“During the first day, they kept reminding us that even though they paid for us to be in Atlanta, it was still an audition process, and we weren’t out of the woods yet,” Brayden said. “After waiting in the green room, we did some more mock games with a Steve Harvey stand in, and went back to the green room to watch the other families.”
As time ticked by, the men felt more and more that they weren’t going to make the cut.
“If you didn’t get called on day one, there was a good chance that you’d be sent home on day two,” Brayden said. “But they called us at the end of day one, and I think it was a 10-hour day for us.”
The taping was eye-opening for Brayden.
“First of all, I learned the show is like a pop-up event, and the set is smaller than what you think you see on TV,” he said. “All the sets, the lights, the consoles pack down into two suitcases that make it easy to take it on the road.”
Brayden was also surprised the taping took place in an old community center.
“It was a building that you would not really give a second glance to,” he said. “It wasn’t like we were going through the gates at big Hollywood studio or walking through a big fancy doorway that says ‘Family Feud.’ They showed us into the building and there we were in the green room.”
One of the hardest parts of the audition was the absence of mobile phones.
“They took them so we couldn’t have any access to the outside world,” Brayden said. “They didn’t want us to tweet or anything like that because they didn’t want us giving away any of the action that was unfolding as we watched it.”
Another challenge was thinking of answers to the questions.
“Once you’re up there in the heat of the moment with Steve Harvey, the clock and the studio audience staring you down, it gets pretty crazy and you [forget things] pretty quickly,” Brayden said.
The Wardrop episode was one of the last tapings of “Family Feud” in Atlanta before the production moved to Los Angeles late last year.
Brayden said he would do it all over again.
“The production team was super welcoming and accommodating to our needs,” he said. “And it was also great to do something out of the ordinary with my family. I mean, as a family we do connect well and feed off of each other well. So it was nice to take our ability to joke and be funny with one another and take it into the public eye.”
The Wardrops will compete on the “Family Feud” game show that will air at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, on KSTU Ch. 13.
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Park City resident Jenn Drummond is working on her goal of summiting the second highest peaks on the seven continents.