A former St. Albert family will try to win up to $10,000 next month as contestants on Family Feud Canada.
Former St. Albert resident Shannon Heigh revealed on Facebook earlier this month that she and her family (husband Ron, daughters Sydney and Karis, and Sydney’s boyfriend, Jordan Bourbeau) would be contestants on the Dec. 5 edition of Family Feud Canada.
Family Feud is a game show where families try to guess the most popular responses to survey questions for points. The highest-scoring family gets a chance to win prizes, which for the Canadian edition top out at $10,000.
Shannon, who now lives in Summerland, B.C., said she and her family were long-time fans of the show and knew they would try out for it as soon as Karis (their youngest) turned 18. They sent in their application last March, auditioned over Zoom in April, and flew to the studio in Toronto on Sept. 7.
Survey says “DING!”
Shannon and Karis said the family prepped for their performance by studying YouTube clips of the show and playing the board-game version of Family Feud.
Karis and Shannon said the Heighs were one of about half a dozen families on set to compete on the show over two days. The families had to attend a briefing and go through a practice game before being sent to separate rooms to await their turn on stage.
“It was pretty intense,” she said, but they got free food, drinks, and makeup out of it, and got to watch the other families compete.
The Heigh clan played against the Richard family of Collette, N.B., on Sept. 9.
“It was kind of bizarre to see how long the games took,” Karis said — each match took an hour or more to film, which would be cut down to 22 minutes for broadcast.
While the show’s big board does indeed go “ding!” when it reveals a correct answer, Shannon noted that it doesn’t do so instantaneously like it does on TV; instead, there’s a roughly 30 second delay between the host calling for the results and them showing up.
Shannon said it was very exciting to get on set, with its bright lights, blasting music, and hundreds of cheering fans.
“It really gets your adrenaline up.”
When they weren’t on set filming, Shannon said the family got to check out the Toronto International Film Festival (which was taking place next to their hotel), a Toronto Blue Jays game, and Niagara Falls.
While they couldn’t disclose the outcome of their game, Shannon and Karis said they came away from Family Feud as good friends with the Richards. They said any close-knit family not afraid of potential humiliation on national television should try out for Family Feud.
“You have to be able to laugh at yourself and enjoy whatever happens to comes out of your mouth,” Shannon said.
While they would love to be on the show again, Shannon said anyone who gets onto Family Feud Canada must wait 10 years before they can reappear on the show, and cannot participate in any game shows or reality TV shows for two years.
“We’ll be talking about it for the rest of our lives,” she said of their experience.
The Heighs will be on the Dec. 5 episode of Family Feud Canada, which airs on CBC.