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My Family Will Be On FAMILY FEUD On May 8th But I Won't Be Because I Didn't Get Picked

My family will be featured on Family Feud starring Steve Harvey on May 8th. It's been a long treacherous road to get to that date. A journey that truly began with me coaching my family through an intense and extensive audition process, ended with me watching my family play The Feud from a studio audience in Los Angeles. Getting picked to go on a game show is no small feat; it's a game within itself. I played the game smart but got played in the end. When you think about Family Feud, you think about feuding against other families. They don't tell you that the experience leaves you feuding with your own family. 

Here are two of the "family" pictures taken of "us" during the July 2019 taping of America's #1 Game Show.

IMAGE ONE

NOTES: In this picture, I am clearly 20lbs heavier than I am today AND am the only member of my family not sporting the famous Family Feud name tag. During the taping, There was this one BJ Novak-looking producer who I KNOW is the reason I didn't get picked to play The Feud with my family.  During a break, he grabbed me from the studio audience and ushered me on stage to take this picture and make me feel included. (Now that I'm thinking about it, my Mom definitely sent him into the crowd to get me for this photo op.)

IMAGE TWO

NOTES: In this picture, I am replaced by one of the original Kings Of Comedy and the host of Family Feud, Steve Harvey. There are a lot of things I can't say about my family's appearance but best believe, Steve LOVED The Goodner's. By the time this picture was taken, I was safely back in my seat watching from afar as my family kept everyone entertained during their time on the show.

Hang in there. This story of family betrayal is a long one:

Okay, let's back it up to fully explain how I helped my family secure a stop on Family Feud before being cut from the "Goodner Family" roster. Back in August 2018, my Mom and my cousin/auntie Mellernee (also known as Ducky) were deadset on getting a shot to be on Family Feud. Apparently, one of the first steps in achieving that goal is to make a home video featuring your family playing the Family Feud card game put it on YouTube AND THEN send a link of it to an undisclosed email address.

The casting team at The Feud takes about a year combing through thousands of video submissions before emailing a select number of families to audition in person at a "city near you." The home video submission obviously worked and the Goodner Family (My Mom's Mom's side) was 1 of 100 families invited to a makeshift casting center in Louisville, Kentucky. Each family is allowed to invite 5-6 family members to participate during the live auditions. They encouraged every family to bring 6 contestants with the understanding that only 5 members from each family will get to go on a trip to LA to be on the show. Families auditioning with only 5 contestants run a higher risk of not being chosen in case one member of the family is a dud and isn't ready for primetime. The more family members that audition the better chance of meeting Steve Harvey and playing The Feud.

Between my mother, my brother, my cousin/auntie Ducky, her daughter/my cousin Tee Tee and my cousin Jeff, they already had enough people to audition but my entire family, obviously, wanted me on the show with them. At the time I lived in LA and couldn't afford a round trip to Louisville from Los Angeles. Also, I didn't feel like entertaining my mother's "crazy idea" that we'll actually be able to get on Family Feud. 

My mom doesn't play about television game shows and our family doesn't play about Family Feud. Growing up, I always heard about my Mom going on Wheel of Fortune in her 20s and how my father's poor performance during their Newlyweds audition subsequently led to their divorce. When I called to tell her that I wouldn't be able to make the trip for the audition, she called me back in an hour and said, "I bought you a one-way home, but you got to get yourself a ticket back. I'll pick you up from the airport. This is a work trip."

When we got to the casting call site at Louisville's Expo Center, hundreds of contestants were lined up outside, matching. All dressed up in coordinating colors with their families. It was like if people went to church and only sat with people wearing the same color they were. My mom told our group that we were wearing red. A smart choice by her. Wearing red communicates energy, passion, action, ambition, and determination. We had all that. We had all that AND me. <--- me; something missing from the team that got to compete and meet steve harvey.< p>

Let's meet the members of The Goodner Family from Louisville, Kentucky:

Selina (my mom): Team Captian. Family Feud fanatic. Steve Harvey fanatic. Television fanatic. Middle School Counselor. Drank alcohol at a bar for the first at her 50th birthday and hasn't looked back since. Automatically in the final 5 contestants.

Mellernee/Ducky (my cousin/auntie): The Wedding Planner. The Cake Maker. The Ace of Spades. A Play-At-Home, Family Feud vet. The host of our last umpteen Thanksgivings and Christmases. Her house is the center of our family (on my mom's side). No question she was making the final 5.

Jeff (my cousin): I met Jeff for the first time that day. He was cool. That's my cousin. No chance anyone thought he'd make it to the final 5. No chance.

Timbriah/Tee Tee (my favorite cousin): The Party Personified. The X-Factor. The "Dumb Blonde" of the family. Mother of my Goddaughter Jiyah. Honestly, our biggest liability. She's quick with a response but I started to get impressed with how much thought went into her wrong answers. Everyone knew she'd make the final 5 based on entertainment value alone.

Lance (my brother): The Southern Fried Poet. The Intellectual. Mr. SpreadLove. The Mayor of Louisville's Black Friend. The reason I wanted glasses and braces growing up. If we got to Fast Money, there was no question who was going up. I'm proud to say, my big brother was a shoo-in for the final 5.

For the audition, the Family Feud staff had the crowd of contestants split up into two separate rooms. There were clear instructions posted everywhere threatening you if you film anything and post it on social media. We were allowed to take pictures outside by the cardboard cutout of Steve, so we did. Then we found our seats really early on before the good seats got taken. After waiting around for about 30 minutes marveling at the beautiful families from Louisville, someone of authority came in and told us they'd be filming all of us play one game of Family Feud each. She began explaining the rules of the game when Ducky turned to all of us and said, "So I think we should sell the car." I was like "What?" She said, "I think we should sell the car. It don't make no sense if somebody drives it one week and somebody else another week. I think we just sell the car and split that money too." 

If you don't realize how ridiculous that is, consider the fact that the car she's referring to is the one that Family Feud families win after winning 5 games in a row AND getting 200+ points in Fast Money. Ducky was worried about chopping the ultimate Family Feud prize down for parts while my mom was still filling out our submission form. As soon as she said that, I looked at her laughing and said, "Let's not worry about that yet, Duck." But at the same time, I knew we were going to get on the show. 

I submitted our paperwork last to make sure our family was one of the last ones who would audition. I knew we'd leave a big impression right at the end when the staff was delirious after one underwhelming performance after another. Also, it was a perfect time for us to learn from all the other auditions before us. While we waited for our audition most of us listened to test questions and played along. Every time I heard a good question I would quiz Tee Tee because honestly, she needed the practice. Here are a few questions I threw her way for training purposes...

ANNOUNCER: Name a bird that can't fly.
ME: Ow, Tee Tee, name a bird that can't fly.
TIMBRIAH: Oh, Big Bird!
ME: No Tee. No, that's a good answer but that's not going to be up there.
TIMBRIAH: Ow, what's them thangs called, an Ostrich?
ME: Yes! That's up there.

ANNOUNCER: Name something you would find in the desert.
ME: Ow, Tee Tee, name something you would find in the desert.
TIMBRIAH: Ow, Fossils!
ME: {laughs} Tee! No! Stop it!
TIMBRIAH: Uh, Heat?! Ain't it hot in the desert!?
ME: Yes, Tee but that ain't up there! 

ANNOUNCER: Name something you associate with the color green.
ME: Tee! Name something green!
TIMBRIAH: MONEY!?
ME: Aye! That's gotta be the #1 answer! Good job!

She started to catch on. We waited and waited and watched and listened and whispered until we were the last four teams in the room. We were so prepared at that point we started to get to know the family we auditioned against. Another group of 6 filled with sisters, daughters, aunts, and moms from South Bend, Indiana of all places. The nice old man/husband/guy who didn't audition drove down 5hrs to lose to my family in a fake game of The Feud. I learned then there would be casualties but I had no idea it'd be foreshadowing.

We absolutely demolished that poor family from South Bend. After the beating, I told them I went to Notre Dame and we exchanged pleasantries as we exited the room. The convention center was emptied out at this time. I had noticed earlier that they were sending families home after they auditioned. As my family was attempting to exit the building my mom pulled us all aside and said, "We were chosen for the second round of auditions!" We didn't know there'd be a second round of auditions. My mom told us we were told to wait in another room for further instructions. Of the 100 families who auditioned, we were one of 10 who made it to the second round and they were only choosing 5 of the 10 families to go to LA!

While we waiting for the next audition we were told that this next round was to highlight each individual person of the family with an extremely animated and energetic filmed Q & A session. In my mind, at this point, we had made it! Going to LA to be on Family Feud for sure, for sure. So I brought up how we'd split the winnings, "Alright y'all, we know they're only going to pick 5 of us to go on the show, so how are we going to split up what we win?" I thought I was being a leader bringing up the fact that we should definitely still give Jeff some money although they probably weren't going to pick him. That's where my head was at. Then my mom said, "Well I think whatever we win, we split it up 6 ways." I agreed. Ducky agreed. Jeff agreed. Tee Tee agreed. And Lance agreed. I should have known then that there ain' no handshake deals when game show money is involved. Especially not with family. 

We were ushered in a different room that was much smaller than the last two we were in. We were introduced to BJ Novak looking producer from earlier. This room had one camera facing a blank wall that had the numbers 1-6 on individual pieces of paper on the floor. We stood on the pieces of paper, my mother occupying #1, Ducky #2, so on and so forth with Lance as our anchor at #6. Each of us had to scream (individually and in unison) "HI! WE'RE THE GOODNER FAMILY FROM LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY!" Then we each spent 30 seconds telling them our name, our age, our relationship to the team captain, our occupation and why Family Feud should pick our family to go on The Feud.

Everything was going great. My mom went first and set the tone. Tee Tee told the guy she's an aspiring actress, Jeff told the guy he's an aspiring singer/songwriter. The guy said sing something. Jeff did. Lance spit a poem he wrote about 5 years ago that painted him as the black Lin-Manuel Miranda. But I'm realizing now two things probably went wrong with my portion of the audition. When the producer guy asked me what I did, I said I was a Segment Producer at FOX Sports and have a podcast under their umbrella. He didn't like that answer. Then, when he asked me why Family Feud should pick my family I said, "I already live in LA so if you pick my family that's one less plane ticket you have to buy. [FORCED LAUGHTER] But seriously, I've always seen myself as a toned-down version of my family and I get paid to produce entertainment, but the members of my family are the true entertainers." He clearly liked that answer too much. After that we were told that we would DEFINITELY be flying out to LA it's just a matter of when and who would get the boot.

Look at how hype I was after the audition (when I thought I'd be going on Family Feud with my family):

The day I found out that Family Feud had selected everyone in my family to play and meet Steve Harvey except for me was a rough one. I wasn't mad at anyone in my family. I was excited that we'd actually be getting on, but my mom was furious. "Why did they do that!?" "They want us to look stupid out there!" "You were our ringer!" I had to stop her when she began to insult every member of our family who was going in my honor. I prayed on it and told her, "What was done cannot be undone." I started getting excited for my family to have a paid vacation to my home in LA... and the money of course. The dates were set for one of the last tapings of the season, July 1st.

My wife and I took off work that Monday to go to Universal Studios and watch the taping of the show. The Goodner family from Louisville, KY was the absolute last family that got to play that day. I can't reveal the results of their time on Family Feud, but I can tell you that after their time on the show my family started being shady towards me. When I met up with them at their hotel, my family was clearly beefing with each other. No one would look me in the eye. We didn't go out to dinner as a family. I was so confused. Then I found out they refused to give me a cut of their alleged winnings. My mom pulled me aside and said, "So Ducky, Tee Tee, Jeff said 'we not giving Brandon no money.'" I was shocked. After all, I did to get us here... Then my mom said, "Honestly, it was so hard and I see where they're coming from... BUT your brother and I are going to break you off something so don't even worry about it!"

WOW:

That was it. I was cut out that quickly. I should have played the game smarter. I should have said, "Nah, we don't need to audition with 6... we'll be good with 5." Or "Hey let's sign a written document that says we'll split the Family Feud money 6 ways. And let's make sure a witness is there." Or "If y'all try to cut me out of this money, I'll cut someb..." No. I dunno. I should have played the game differently but I got played in the end.

Regardless of how pissed I was when I found out I'm even more excited for the world to see my crazy, hilarious family in action on The Feud! I promise the clips from their episode will go viral in no time! I was shocked and delighted at how well my family entertained the masses during their 15 minutes of fame. Ducky and Steve. Steve and Jeff. Steve and my mom. So much good energy. Such a rapport. I can't wait for this thing to air.

Now we finally have a date: May 8th. I know we may be sick of watching TV by then, but you should circle that date on your calendar. Family Feud. May 8th.

I'll obviously be reporting live on social media during the episode my family is featured on Family Feud. I will defend Tee Tee's answers. I will defend Jeff's answers. I will defend my mom and any rumors of a budding relationship with her and Steve. I have no idea what will make the show and what will get cut out but I guarantee it'll be one of the most entertaining episodes of Family Feud that you will ever see. Feud fans around the world will be talking about The Goodner Family from Louisville, Kentucky for years to come and my name will never be mentioned.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I want to be clear, I'm not mad at Family Feud for not picking me to compete and meet Steve Harvey, I'm mad at my family for cutting me out of the prize money. But I still love them and Jeff.

(P.S)
If you don't believe how funny my family is, I dare to watch this video Ducky sent everybody yesterday and don't laugh. I mean she starts this video pranking her husband calling the coronavirus quarantine a "sit-in." A. SIT. IN. Enjoy.

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@NewmanShow99