This week, I’m posting highlights of Part 2 of my interview with Michael Pope, where he talks about his time as Executive Producer on Bert’s Family Feud. This was a great discussion, and contains loads of useful tips for anyone wanting to be a contestant on Family Feud. We covered a bit of ground here, so I’m going to break it in to two parts, and post the second part of this discussion next week. The entire interview will be in my forthcoming eBook How To Win Game Shows, but for now, here’s the first part of my Family Feud discussion with Michael Pope.
SH: I’d like to move on now Bert’s Family Feud. Of course, Family Feud is a format that is running all over the world, so I think everyone’s pretty much familiar with the format; one family versus another family in responses to surveys. You were involved in the selection of the contestants and families through the audition and interview process. Could you talk about the sort of things you were looking for in families applying to go on?
MP: Yeah. The thing that I would say to contestants – and it’s applicable for The Price Is Right or Millionaire or Deal Or No Deal or any of them – is to be yourself, but on a really good day. What the auditioners are NOT looking for is someone saying “Oh, sorry I’m late. Jeez, the traffic was crap, wasn’t it? Whoa, you’re holding these auditions really far out, aren’t you? And this is right at dinner time.”
BUT we can smell a put-on kind of “Oh, I’m having the best day and this is fabulous!” and all of that kind of bullshit. We want to see the genuine you, because the game show – if it’s a good game show – takes the contestant through a number of different emotional states, many of them unexpected, and so you hope to see a real person reacting to a real situation. And so at the audition, we want to get an inkling of who the real person is.
If you’re the kind of person who brings negativity into a space let alone a job interview or an audition, we certainly wouldn’t want them on the show.
I was talking just the other day to Michael who auditions for Millionaire and he says