Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst family stars in ‘Family Feud’
It’s a Family Feud, Brooklyn style.
A local family from Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst traveled to Los Angeles to compete in one of the longest running game-shows in television history, “Family Feud.”
In November, the Estevez family, which consist of five members, battled it out against three families to take home cash prizes and be a part of a once in a lifetime experience.
Contestant Angie Santamaria, who lives in Bensonhurst, told this paper how she and her family ended up on the competitive show, which has been on air since 1976.
“We’ve always been fans of the show and it’s kind of everyone’s dream to be on one of those shows,” she said.
At the beginning of the year, Santamaria’s sister-in-law set up a group text and told the family that the show was having auditions in Connecticut. The Bensonhurst resident encouraged her family to go for it.
“We filled out the application. They asked us to say something that will make you stand out,” she said. “My sister-in-law is Caucasian and she wrote this whole thing about being the only white girl within a Dominican family.”
And so, the family booked an audition.
“According to the scores they gave us, we had to wait to meet one of the producers and speak a little about ourselves,” Santamaria explained. “Once we did that, one of the producers said, ‘We’ll see you in LA.’ We weren’t sure if they just say that to everybody or if they really liked us.”
Five months after the audition, the family thought their chance of actually competing on “Feud” was a long shot. Then, the production company sent a postcard to the Estevez family telling them that they were chosen as one of the families to compete.
Getting on the show was an absolute thrill for the family.
“We’ve been watching this for as long as I can remember,” Santamaria said. “Whenever we were having dinner, it was like, okay put on ‘Family Feud’ and to think you’re there sitting there thinking something someone said was a dumb answer and figuring out the answers. Clearly it’s not the same thing as it is on the show. It was very exciting, but nerve wrecking.”
The family was flown to Los Angeles, did some practice rounds and eventually participated in three episodes’ worth of games. “We won two games,” Santamaria said. “We didn’t win the $20,000, but at that point it almost didn’t matter. You’re on a high of being there and on TV and the whole experience.”
Living in the moment is something the production staff encouraged, Santamaria added.
“That’s something they tell you. Live the moment. Don’t focus on the money. It’s true,” she said. “The first game we were doing really bad and at the last minute, we were able to relax and steal it and win the game. The second game we were on a role. We didn’t let the other team score.”
While their third game ended in defeat, the Estevez family had a great time.
“The third game messed up our mojo. We didn’t do too well,” Santamaria recalled. “We lost to a very nice family. If you’re going to lose to somebody, it’s a nice, wholesome family.”
No matter their winnings, Santamaria said, the crew made the Brooklyn family feel right at home.
“When you’re home you can think easier but when you’re there, your nerves can get to you,” she said, “but their staff and team is amazing. They make you feel like a family just having fun.”
Meeting host Steve Harvey was also an exciting experience for the Brooklynites.
“You would think once Steve Harvey comes on, you get nervous but that didn’t happen at all,” she explained. “He makes you feel at ease and like you’re hanging out. It was a really nice experience. The first game your nerves take over you. You’re over-analyzing everything and trying to still have a good time, but by your second game, it’s a breeze.”
Above all else, Santamaria said, the Estevez family repped their hometown.
“My brother and sister-in-law live in Bay Ridge and my husband and I live in Bensonhurst,” she said, adding that “most of the families there happened to be from California and west coast. We wanted to bring some Brooklyn attitude to the show and we hope we represented Brooklyn in a good way.”