‘Family Feud’ featuring the Barrett family of Gillsville
When: 7 or 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday
TV channel: WUPA
The Barrett family of Gillsville has no trouble being loud.
It may be part of the reason why they were chosen out of nearly 250 families to compete on the popular game show “Family Feud.”
“The producers kept telling everyone, ‘Be loud, be loud,’” said Katie Barrett-Reed, the youngest of the three Barrett family members. “But we never had a problem with that.”
But before they got to be on the show, they had to apply and audition like everyone else.
“It was a really long process,” said Kirk Barrett, the eldest brother of the Barrett clan.
It all started when Katie was sitting at home one night, watching TV and noticed a banner in the corner of the screen advertising for families to audition to be on the game show. She applied without thinking they would make it.
“They ask you to send in a brief description of your family, with pictures or video,” Katie said.
So she sent in the email and hoped for the best. As fate would have it, her family was chosen. They auditioned at the Atlanta Civic Center two days later.
“I’m still amazed we got in,” said Kent Barrett, the middle brother.
They filled out paperwork in one room and then were the first family called to play a mock game.
Beforehand, they were coached on what they could and could not do, Kent’s wife Heather said.
For instance, the family wasn’t allowed to talk to one another while answering questions and had to be escorted to and from the bathroom.
The Barrett family was told they would hear back within three weeks. However, the three Barretts plus their spouses were called two days later and asked to participate in the game show.
“We starting screaming,” Katie said. “It was like Christmas morning.”
Meeting the host, Steve Harvey, was an exciting moment for the family. Between takes, Harvey told jokes to the audience and goofed off with the families.
“You realize what an entertainer he really is,” Kirk said, adding he and his family described Harvey as classy, sincere, nice and genuine.
The game show’s host and comic also told the Barretts that he was a “born-again” Christian, which resonates with them.
“He really showed us a personal part of himself,” Kirk said.
During the game show, the Barretts played the Muccular family of Richmond, Calif. The family ran a specialty and gourmet hot dog business.
“They were very nice,” Katie said.
To prepare, the family practiced by watching previous episodes.
“The people who do well are relaxed,” said Harold Reed, Katie’s husband. “Or they took a second to think before they answered.”
The Barretts tried to keep that in mind when answering questions. It paid off as they beat the Mucculars and advanced to the fast-money round.
Reed and Kirk played this portion of the game. Kirk answered the first round of questions while Reed was ushered to the side of the stage in order to not hear Kirk’s answers.
“It was real nerve-wracking,” Reed said. “The headphones were playing the loudest rock ’n’ roll music you’ve ever heard.”
Reed said it may seem easy competing when sitting on the couch watching the show on television, but it’s more difficult in a studio when the pressure is on.
Unfortunately, the Barretts didn’t win the estimated $20,000 for the fast round.
“I wanted to win. I’m still bitter,” Kirk said.
But the Barretts did not walk away empty-handed. They won about $800 to be split between the five of them. And they didn’t regret their choice to participate.
“We made good memories that we will have forever,” Katie said.
Harold had other ideas on their time on the show.
“I just wanted to lay down,” Harold said. “Anyone you see who earns the big money, they deserve it. They really earn it.”
But at the end of the day, the family was just happy they represented themselves well on television and didn’t embarrass themselves, they said.
The original episode aired in September, but encore episodes will run Dec. 2-3.