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Castlegar family to appear on Family Feud Canada

A Castlegar woman says she and her four kids had a blast on a popular game show.

The episode of Family Feud Canada in which Maryann Puliz and her three daughters and son appear was filmed last fall and is set to air on Feb. 16.

“It was so much fun,” she said. “It’s such a surreal experience. We were tired. It was exhausting. I can see why they call it Family Feud.”

Last year Puliz, who owns a local gym, saw on Facebook that the show was seeking families to audition.

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“I thought it would be a blast to experience something like that. I sent in a video submission, not really thinking it would go anywhere, saying why I thought we would be a good choice. My family’s funny, we have a lot of good times.”

Puliz said as a single mother, she never did much travelling with her kids when they were younger and thought that if they won money on the show they could spend it on a family trip. But in any event, she figured it would be a fun experience.

She did not, however, immediately tell kids what she had done. Last spring they were asked to do a Zoom audition. The nearly two hour call included answering “tons of questions” like “What would our claim to fame be?” and “What is something about your family that somebody doesn’t know?” The answers included some things that Puliz didn’t know about her own kids.

All grist for potential things that host Gerry Dee might ask them on the show.

While there were no guarantees, they were told to be ready to appear on the show anytime between August and the end of the year.

Puliz said they shifted their mindset. She told her kids: “You know what? We have to turn our thinking. We are going to be on Family Feud.”

In mid-September they received the call and flew to Toronto from Oct. 2 to 5 for taping.

In addition to herself, the team would include her daughters Katie Hrgovic, 33, Stefanie Hrgovic, 32, Faith Schofield, 21, and son Tristan Schofield, 18. They also needed a back-up person in case one of them couldn’t make it, so a cousin in Ontario agreed. Puliz’s mother, who also lives in Ontario, joined them in the audience.

However, their flight out of Vancouver was delayed, so by the time they got to Toronto after 2 a.m. local time, they were “exhausted, hungry, and cranky” and had to be up a few hours later to arrive on set for 6:45 a.m.

What’s not obvious from the finished show is the amount of rehearsing and coaching that goes into each episode. Puliz said contestants are constantly reminded to bring a lot of energy to the show.

“They’re always prompting you, reminding you to smile, say ‘good answer, good answer,’ and cheer your team on.”

During the rehearsals, they watched other teams play and also honed pithy answers to questions about themselves that Dee might ask.

“You can’t tell a long story. Gerry might say ‘Tell me about your eyelashes.’ That was one of my daughters’ claim to fame. We all had to remember the answers we’d been rehearsing.”

Puliz said the family is sworn to secrecy about the outcome until after the episode airs, which will be on her son’s birthday. They’re planning a viewing party. “We’re all thinking ‘This is going to be so weird watching ourselves on TV.'”

She encourages others to give it a shot. “If ever an opportunity like this comes up, go for it. You just don’t know. What have you got to lose?”

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