A little behind the scenes look at How We Got On The Family Feud Game Show! From our audition letter, to in-person tryouts and filming the TV show in LA.
How We Got On The Family Feud Game Show
In 2016 we saw a promotion circulating on Facebook about auditions being held for Family Feud with one location in Minneapolis, which is only a few hours from us. We thought it would be fun to submit a written application for our family on a whim with very low expectations of ever getting an audition. My sister whipped together this letter last minute, playing up our small town farm family roots and how we all went such different ways in life.
Family Feud Audition Letter
So very excited that family feud tryouts are coming to MN, our family is a big fan and would LOVE the opportunity to be on the show! We come from a small town in western Minnesota called Graceville. It is a small farm community with a population of around 500 people…yes there are more pigs in our town than people! My dad is still a farmer in the community and is farming some of the same land his grandpa bought. My mom works at the local high school (where your average class size is 30 people). She works in the kitchen and you know if she likes you based on how many chicken nuggets you get!
Then we have my oldest brother Chris, we will just say he didn’t leave the small town…physically or mentally. Ahhhh HICK chhhooo . He gave and still probably gives my parents a run for their money. After getting in some trouble shortly after High School he has straightened his life out and currently has a great career managing a large grain elevator. He is getting a little payback from his 14 year old son at the moment, so we all sit back and enjoy the karma.
Next up is the golden child, the Valedictorian, the son who did no wrong (which unfortunately set the bar high for the rest of us). Bryan studied computer engineering and proceeded to work for some big name companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin as a Technical Project Manager. Yep… he went from farm boy castrating pigs to riding in some fancy planes in expensive suits.
Then we have my sister Danielle, she wanted NOTHING more than to get out of our small town. As a junior in high school she studied abroad in Germany for a year and then headed off to Minneapolis to study Entrepreneurial Management. Then she fell in love…WITH A FARMER (hahaha). So she moved back to Graceville, MN ironically in the house we grew up in. But before I give her too hard of a time, she does own and operate a successful online business right from our old farm house!
(we all went skydiving to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday)
Finally, is yours truly, I am Ashley the youngest of them all. I was the perfect child and never did anything wrong. Well except maybe drive my car in a lake and a few ditches, oops. So I may have been a little wild child, but at the end of the day I got my act together and surprised them all. I am now a Sr. Software Engineer for a local IT consulting company here in Minneapolis. My family has no clue what my job is and I am constantly having to remind them what I do for a living every 3 months (it’s been the same thing for the last 5 years). They call me Chandler from friends, because we still don’t know what his job was.
So last of all we would absolutely LOVE this opportunity to meet with you and have a chance to be on this awesome game show! This is nothing we have done before but we are a very entertaining, competitive and unique blend of individuals. We make up our own games as you can see in the picture below which is from one of our annual Walters Family Olympics. (We get together with our extended family and make up games/relays to compete against each other and watch one another embarrass themselves. Just for the record my red team has won more than the blue team!
If you have any other questions about any of us please let me know, I look forward to hearing back from you!!!
Being Selected as a Family for the Game Show
Just days after she sent the letter she got an email back saying that we had been selected for an in person audition. We were ecstatic!
We drove up to Minneapolis and stayed with my sister. At this time I had just undergone a round of IVF and I was testing like a crazy person while I was waiting for my bloodwork. I started to notice that my tests were getting lighter and I started freaking out. The morning of the auditions I was in a terrible funk. I was seriously considering just staying home and not going because I was struggling to keep my eyes dry. Thankfully I sucked it up and went to the audition with my family. They didn’t know what was going on at the time, so I put on a happy face and eventually was able to get into the grove.
Family Feud has five players on each team, but for auditions they allow up to six people to participate. We decided last minute that our entire family of six may as well go for the audition seeing this would just be a fun experience and we never expected it to amount to anything more.
During the audition we displayed the intense competitive nature that runs deep in our family. We nailed our question “What do you associate with Eskimos” and cleared the board with tons of excitement. When I was ringing in to try and win the initial buzz off, I actually flipped the bell over. We most definitely weren’t lacking in enthusiasm!
After our round was over we were quietly handed an envelope by the producer and whisked off to another room for an interview. In the room we were asked a few questions and we had to sell ourselves on camera with our most outgoing pitches telling them a little about us. My shtick was that I was a small town girl who was voted ‘Most likely to leave and never come back’ in High School and was now living in the house I grew up in!
At this point we were on cloud nine that we made it this far and thought it was such a fun experience. They told us that if we were selected, that we would be notified within 3 months via a postcard. Three months came and went and we never got a postcard. We were bummed, but not surprised.
About a month after the three month deadline had passed, to our amazement, a postcard from Family Feud showed up in my sister’s mail saying we were selected as one of the potential families to film! This was no guarantee, it just meant that we went in a database of families that they could call up for filming at any time.
We waited with bated breath and a few months later, we got the call that our family had been selected for a filming date! The only catch was that we were only allowed five people on the team. Our parents were non-negotiable with the producers because they were huge fans of the concept of a farmer and lunch lady from a small town with their children. My brother Chris was also non-negotiable because he contribute to the country feel. Lol The difficult decision was on my sister’s shoulders seeing she was the captain of the team. Thankfully for me, we are super close so it wasn’t really a question. My brother Bryan took the news with more graciousness than the rest of us would have. Luckily he is the only one mature enough of us kids to accept it with grace. The rest of us probably would have created an actual family feud over it… 😉
The most stressful part of this entire experience was picking out outfits! Family Feud sent very specific and strict guidelines as to what you should wear. Some colors were forbidden and all the clothing needed to be dressy. They did make an exception for my brother because they wanted him to play up the country look that they so loved.
They made it clear that if you showed up in clothing that wasn’t camera friendly, you probably wouldn’t be selected to film. You had to bring at least two outfit options so producers could have options. My mom and I spent an entire day shopping, picking out two sets of coordinating outfits for five people. It was a complete headache, but all part of the process. In the end I think we looked pretty sharp in our well coordinated outfits!
The five of us, along with my brother Bryan and some additional family who wanted to attend the filming, headed out to LA in the fall of 2017. They put our family up in a nice hotel and took care of all our travel. At this point, there was still no guarantee we would make the show, but at the very least it would be a fun trip to California!
We had to do another live audition the morning of the filming to determine if we would make the cut. We were one of the first two teams to do the tryout, so we were very nervous. They kept waving signs at us that said ‘LOUDER’ because shockingly enough, apparently our family wasn’t being loud enough?! No one had ever accused us of that before, EVER! We were a bit discouraged after our audition and were afraid we wouldn’t make the cut after not being loud enough.
After the audition, we waited in the green room and as the day went on, families were called into the hallway one by one. Some were told they would be filming while others came back in tears to gather their belongings after being told they were being sent home and wouldn’t be on the show. We waited anxiously and after a long 10 hour day of filming, there was only one other family left along with ours, the Billups family.
We had spent the day getting to know the Billups and they were one of our favorite families there. We all sat together in the green room joking and having a good time and agreed that the game show always likes to pit families with different demographics against one another. Producers wait to see what family wins a game before selecting the next family to compete so they know who will be going up against each other.
The second to last show of the day that we were watching from a live feed was a group of white girls from Minnesota and a black family. Needless to say The Billups family and our pasty white family were cheering for different teams to win in hopes of our families being selected! 😉 There was no way they were going to choose our Minnesotan family to go against the Minnesota girls if they won. The lady from Family Feud who was in charge of supervising us in the green room (we weren’t allowed phones or to even take a bathroom break without their supervision!) insisted that producers didn’t look at demographics. We begged to differ…
Thankfully the Minnesota girls lost (sorry ladies!) and our family burst out in cheers while the Billups let out a sigh of disappointment. As we had suspected, just minutes later a producer came back and informed us that we were chosen and would be on the last show of the day! Thankfully the Billups family was asked to come back the next day in hopes of being selected. We were hoping we would win and they would be the next family selected to play against us.
When it was my turn to compete at the buzzer, I excitedly ran up to the podium in my heels as they had instructed in our warm ups. Afterwards when we were on a break, the producers came up to me and scolded me. They were freaking out behind the scenes because I was four months pregnant with my twins at the time. I was just fine!
My farmer father felt pretty special getting his makeup done for the first time! HAHA
When the other team would get a question, our family would be huddled up thinking of an answer to try and steal the questions in case they got three strikes. The Family Feud should really put a little camera in that huddle, because that is where the real entertainment is! We were yelling at each other while debating answers and telling each other to be quiet so we could hear what the other team was saying. It was a real shit show, but all in true Walters fashion! ?
There were so many funny moments, so it will be interesting to see what they end up airing. We are guessing that most of it will be cut due to time constraints though. Everything from my mom answering a question with ‘big lips’ and Steve Harvey pretending to be insulted while my mom turned bright red with embarrassment, to my sister not hearing a word correctly for a rhyming question and giving the most absurd answer and later shouting out ‘hooker’ to an answer and us all dying in laughter!
We went up against a family who had already won four games and were playing their fifth and final game in an attempt to win the car! You will have to tune in to see how we did…
Our Family Feud episode air times for Minnesota on WUCW (The CW):
Episode 17-156 4-23-18 @ 6pm
Episode 17-157 4-24-18 @ 6pm
If you need additional station information, visit Family Feud. There you can enter a zip code and get station information.