Mark and Theresa Gross of Defiance and their three sons, Patrick, Nicholas and Christopher appeared on Family Feud, Monday, January 28, 2019.
The show was actually taped in June, 2018, and at the time, the family didn’t know if, or when, it would ever be broadcast. “All along the way, they tell you there is no guarantee you will be on TV,” Theresa said.
The process started in 2017 when son Patrick applied, unbeknownst to the rest of the family, to be on the show. Several months later, in August, 2017, the family auditioned – along with hundreds of other families – in St. Louis.
Theresa said, “Months went by and we didn’t hear anything, then in the Spring of 2018, we got a postcard about the possibility of coming to Los Angeles for a taping. Dates were set and we flew to L.A. the beginning of June. The first day, we didn’t get called to play; we were part of the audience. Then on the second day, we got called to play.”
“The whole experience was a blast,” said Mark. “Steve Harvey is hilarious.” Theresa said, “He made you feel very comfortable and at ease.”
Theresa said, “Our taping took an hour and a half, and then they had to cut that down to about 22 minutes for the show; so until we saw the show on Monday, we didn’t know what would be included and what would be cut.”
Theresa said her son Nicholas and his wife Laura are swing dancers. During the introduction, Laura joined Nicholas on stage and they danced for the audience. The family was thrilled to see that segment was included in the broadcast.
Unfortunately, the Gross family did not win the game, but they made some great new friends. On the shuttle from the airport to the hotel, they met the Klein family from Minnesota – also potential contestants – and, “We immediately bonded,” said Theresa. “We hung out with them for the whole trip and had a great time. Then guess what? We ended up playing against them!”
They’ve remained in contact with the Klein family, exchanging text messages and planning a possible future get-together. Both families scheduled viewing parties for Monday evening, and then “face-timed” each other during the broadcast.
The Gross family held their viewing party at Barrels Taphouse and Grill in O’Fallon. Theresa said, “They were super accommodating. They closed down the bar for our party and the bartender came up with two special drinks for the event: the ‘Red Buzzer’ and the ‘Survey Says’.”
Theresa said one of things she enjoyed most was the opportunity to travel again with their sons - who are all now grown and married. “It was like stepping back in time when we used to go places and do silly things with them.”
Theresa said it was also interesting to see everything that happens in the background. “They look for high-energy people, and they keep you pumped up along the way. We did and said so many crazy things; we really didn’t know what to expect on the broadcast. The whole thing was a great experience.”