There’s no feuding among Jamie Varghese’s family.
Despite differences in age, Varghese, of Bethpage, her sister and three cousins are close — close enough to compete together on the game show “Family Feud.” The team filmed the episode in May and it’s scheduled to air on Oct. 26.
Varghese, a financial analyst, said the family grew up watching the game show, so it wasn’t a surprise that advertisements for a casting call in the Philadelphia area — where her sister and cousins live — came up in a group text back in January.
“We thought how funny wouldn’t it be if we were to apply?” said Julie Abraham, 36, Varghese’s sister.
Varghese said the team — with cousins Jesu Philip, 30, Dhanya Varughese, 23, and Danny Varughese, 21, all of Philadelphia — first had to put together a video introducing themselves. The video, which Abraham edited, turned out to be a success. The family got a call back and then another one to come to Atlanta, much to their surprise.
“I think there were 800 people at the audition at the convention center in Philly. There was a lot of competition there but we did our thing,” Varghese, 33, said.
Varghese added that while she, her sister and cousins had once teamed up to do a 5-kilometer walk in support of their aunt who died of brain cancer, this was the first time they had signed up to do something competitive.
Abraham, a software engineer, said they never knew how far they were going to get in the audition process. Even when the family members had to take off work and school for the trip to Atlanta, she said they kept their participation largely a secret.
“We didn’t really say a whole lot outside of the fact that we would be Atlanta on vacation,” she said.
To prepare, the team watched as many “Family Feud” episodes as possible, filling up their DVRs to get a sense of the questions they would have to answer. They downloaded phone apps with quiz questions and consulted each other to perfect their on-screen outfits.
“There were a lot of nerves involved, but it was a ton of fun,” she said. “It brought us closer together as a family,”
The big surprise on set for Varghese was how much work goes into filming the show. They were in Atlanta for several days and all the footage shot will be distilled down to one 30-minute episode.
“The most interesting thing for us is going to be what made it to TV and what didn’t,” she said. “They spend a lot of time talking to each person and there’s lots of banter.”
Abraham said she wasn’t expecting the competition to be as hard as it was. She used to question contestant decisions while watching it at home, not realizing the challenges of actually competing.
“It’s so much easier to play from the comfort of your own living room versus when you’re on the set,” she said. “There’s Steve Harvey standing right in front of you. There’s lights and cameras. When you’re on the set there’s so many other things going on that make it a lot harder to play the game.”
For the big airing, Abraham, Philip and both Varugheses are going to gather friends at a Philadelphia bar and restaurant for a viewing and celebration. Varghese can’t make it to Philadelphia to join her team, but plans to watch with her family and friends on Long Island.
The episode airs on Oct. 26 on WWOR channel 9 at 7 p.m.