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From fan to contestant: Alumnus and family compete at ‘Family Feud’

Courtesy Bryce Keigley

By Eva Kennedy, Social Media Editor

For 2023 Conestoga alumnus Theo Simard, “Family Feud” is more than just a TV show. Since seventh grade, the show has provided him with a daily dose of laughter as he immersed himself in the antics of the two families battling on the screen to win a prize. Watching the show became part of his  daily routine.

“I would always come home after school, sit on the couch and watch two episodes,” Simard said. “I just love it. It was really fun to watch and play along with too.”

Little did Theo Simard know that he and his family would be part of the experience one day. In early February 2024, “Family Feud” episodes featuring the Simard family aired on television.

Kathleen Simard, Theo Simard’s mother, started watching “Family Feud” when she was 10 years old and admired her son’s interest in the show. She promised him that when he turned 15 years old, the minimum age to appear on the show, she would apply for their family to participate. The Simards auditioned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had an hour-long call with one of the casting directors where we literally played a round of Family Feud,” Kathleen Simard said. “We cleared the board, had tons of energy and the casting director notified us probably within two or three days that we’d been cast.”

Filming for the show began in summer 2023. Theo Simard said that the experience was different than what he imagined.

“Watching it on TV and actually being at the studio is completely different. When you’re in there and Steve’s asking you questions, the pressure is on,” Theo Simard said. “You are put on the spot. It’s not like at home, where you can pause the TV show and you can take your time. You’re always thinking and it’s stressful.”

The Simard family lost its first game against the Brooks family after second-guessing the answer on the last question. However, since the producers found the family’s energy entertaining, they called back the Simards to film another episode the next day.

With the pressure on, the Simards competed against the Butler family but lost again. Theo Simard looks back on the experience fondly, and said that his favorite moment was interacting with the host, Steve Harvey.

“For me, it was making Steve Harvey laugh, but unfortunately, they cut it out of the show. There is a scene in the episode where he says I’m funny,” Theo Simard said. “I really do think just getting to talk to Steve Harvey is the coolest part.”

Despite the two losses, the family’s energy impressed the producers, and the Simards received an invite to play for a third time. Kathleen Simardhopes that her family will be able to appearance on the show one more time.

“I’ve been in contact with the casting director to see if we can find another date when we can all make it,” Kathleen Simard said. “So, there’s a chance that if we decide to accept the invitation that we’ll play again. Our journey may not be over.”

Eva Kennedy can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Eva Kennedy
Eva Kennedy, Staff Reporter
Eva Kennedy is a sophomore and the Social Media Editor of The Spoke. In her role, she manages The Spoke's Instagram, creating and editing posts. She covers topics within the T/E Life section, with an emphasis on club and student spotlights. During her free time, she participates in Conestoga’s robotics club and enjoys reading.