Student and family featured on “Family Feud”

Siblings Jacob and Jordynn Drelick were participants on the show alongside their family.


The Drelick family has always been told by friends and family that they would do well on “Family Feud” because of their outgoing personalities and previous experience on television, but when they applied to be on the show they never expected they’d get the opportunity to compete after receiving three strikes on the first round of questions during auditions.

“I was like, in the back of my head, thinking, ‘Oh wow, that was our test right there, we just failed,’” said Jacob Drelick, a senior sport and recreation management major.

Despite hearing back from the casting manager, Jacob still felt his family had very limited chances of being on the show because there were roughly 10,000 other families being considered, he said. 

The family heard back from the casting manager two weeks after their audition and were added to the active file of potential families for the show. They filmed the show in May 2022 and were featured on “Family Feud” for four episodes, which aired from Nov. 16 through Nov. 21. 

The audition process for “Family Feud” typically includes an online application with questions about the family and the option to submit a video audition. If the application is accepted, families will be interviewed with a casting director through Zoom, according to their website.

“When you’re not one of the families, of the two families playing, you’re actually one of the families in the audience in the first couple of rows, so we were able to watch shows being taped that we weren’t playing so like being there and hearing the lights go off and the music and it’s all just like happening around you, like my heart started racing a little bit,” Jacob said.

The family did their best to prepare themselves for the show during the time between auditions and their taping.   

Before recording their episodes, the family delved into old episodes of “Family Feud” in an attempt to practice for the show after receiving recommendations to do so from producers. 

“We were asking each other questions, at dinner we’re just googling ‘Family Feud’ questions and going around the room like ‘Okay good, good, good,’ like we’re just like getting our brains firing,” Jacob said.

On the show, they were asked questions like “Of all the animals great and small, which is the most beloved of all,” which stumped the family because they fixated on the ‘small’ aspect of the question, said Jordynn Drelick, a 2020 marketing alumna.

“You know, and, me, I think I said hamster, my brother said chipmunk, because you’re just thinking small, it’s hard, like that’s where that nervousness comes in,” Jordynn said.

“Family Feud” is not the Drelicks’ first time being on TV, the family competed on “The Great Christmas Light Fight” in 2015 and have been featured on local news stations several times, where they showcased their annual display of 35,000 Christmas lights. However, this experience did not absolve the family of their TV show appearance anxiety and excitement.

“Definitely being down there and on a stage like that, not like in your front yard with your Christmas lights and like seeing Steve Harvey, especially, it was very nerve-wracking,” Jordynn said. 

The Drelicks won three games in a row on “Family Feud” but lost the fourth, completing their run on the show. Throughout their episodes, the family won the Fast Money bonus round, with a prize of $20,000, once, a moment Tracey Drelick, their mother, will never forget, she said.

“My favorite moment for me, which I’ll never forget, was when I was backstage with my headphones on they were blaring The Killers, I guess it was ‘Jealousy,’ or ‘Mr. Brightside,’ was the name of the song because they were blasting that while my mom was playing Fast Money, that was the episode when we won the money, I just remember being extremely nervous; I couldn’t believe this was my life,” Tracey said.

Beyond the prize money that they won, the Drelicks were happy to connect with the other families they played with. 

“Everybody was genuinely good-hearted, it felt like good-hearted people that wanted you to do well, even if it meant them losing, they didn’t mind because they just wanted you to do well,” Tracey said.

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