A Castlegar family will be getting their 15 minutes of fame when they appear on Family Feud Canada.
The episode featuring Maryann Puliz and her children Katie Hrgovic (33), Stefanie Hergovic (32), Faith Schofield (21) and Tristan Schofield (18) will air on Feb. 16.
Puliz says the whole experience started when, on a whim, she sent in a pitch video after seeing a Facebook post from the show calling for contestants. She didn’t tell her kids.
In the video, she talked about how as a single mom she had not been able to do a lot of extra things with her kids and that if they won, she would use the money for a big family trip.
“We’re also as fun as heck,” she added. It’s that part Puliz thinks probably swayed things in her favour.
A few months later, Puliz was notified that the show wanted the family to officially audition for the show. Then she had to tell the kids. Fortunately, they were all willing to go along with mom’s idea.
The audition was done via video link and lasted about two hours.
The family showed off their personalities with an intro song and dance to We Are Family. Instead of the usual lyrics, Puliz sang, “We are family. I’ve got all my children with me.”
Interviewers then asked them dozens of questions and asked them to tell family stories and anecdotes.
“After that, it was a don’t call us, we’ll call you thing,” said Puliz.
In September, she got a call saying they wanted the family in Toronto for filming on Oct. 2.
The show provided air transportation, hotel accommodations and a stipend to help cover the expenses of the trip.
“It was the experience of a lifetime,” says Puliz.
But she also says it was stressful. Between driving to Vancouver, flight delays, not getting enough sleep and having a hard time finding food, the family was a bit frazzled by the time they reached their rehearsals.
“Now I know why they call it Family Feud!” said Puliz.
After rehearsals and sitting in the studio audience for the filming of other episodes, the family finally got their chance in the spotlight.
The filming of the episode took between one and two hours.
While it was a lot of fun, Puliz says there was also a lot to remember. Show prompters were constantly holding up cards to remind contestants to smile, look at the camera, use hand gestures and cheer.
She also says that getting the answers right has a lot to do with luck and randomness. The “correct” answers, as the survey says, are those given by the people who were asked, and are not necessarily the accurate answers.
The questions can also be a bit imaginary. One of the family’s questions involved the Pink Panther and what flavours of candy he would have if he owned his own candy brand.
The family is not allowed to talk about the outcome of the game until after the episode airs, but Puliz says win or lose, it was a great experience.