CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – The Levendusky family made the video of their introduction to Family Feud mostly as a joke – it happened until they got a call for a follow-up interview. Now, they will be ready on TV with a part in Family Feud coming this month.

The Levendusky family is a busy family of eight who moved to Clarksville over the summer.

Mom Heidi is a substitute teacher for the Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools and a former music teacher. Daddy Derek founded Grace Life Church in Avon, New York and plans to plant a church here in Clarksville. He is also a contemporary Christian musician and assistant wrestling coach at the university at Montgomery Central High School.

Grace, their eldest daughter, is a musician. Joye and Esther are both college students and wrestling competitors. The three school-age children – Reese, Audrey and Jack – have also inherited some of their parents’ talents and passions from their love of wrestling and music. This strange dynamic gave the family an edge in their interview.

Family quarrel

The family was on vacation in Rhode Island when the idea came to enroll in Family Feud.

“Using it whenever we go on vacation and we’re in the hotel and we do not know what to look at is just to turn on the Game Show Network,” Grace said. “Esther figured out how to record from her phone.”

Due to COVID-19, the game show was accepting remote video appearances in the summer of 2020 when the Levendusky family registered. Derek said they took the opportunity to record just then.

Being a family with a musical background, the Levenduskys directed a harmony with three parts of Bill Withers’ song “Lean on Me” in their audition appearance.

Three months later, Derek received an email from one of the producers saying they wanted to make a sequel to Zoom.

“Joye was in college in St. Louis. Louis, Grace was in Rochester and the rest of us were in Avon. So through Zoom, we basically did a mock show, “Heidi said.” We thought ‘Well, it was fun, but what are the chances we’re actually going to get to the final round?’ ”

“Suddenly one day, I got an email and he says, ‘We want you to come to Atlanta,'” Derek said.

Their team consisted of Heidi and Derek, along with their three eldest children: Grace, Joye and Esther. Derek said they were selected from about 18,000 families.

Being on the show

Under normal circumstances, the family would have performed in front of a live studio auditorium, but due to the limitations of COVID-19, it was only they and other families who created a grueling but interesting experience.

One of the challenges Levendussky faced was how adapted they had to be to their environment.

“The TV version of Family Feud is a soft blow to the audience,” Derek said. “It was not so easy to wrap the mind around the context of what was happening with the game.”

This was a sharp contrast to the extra task they had to be a member of the audience because they had the advantage of being able to see and hear the game as it was played. Keeping their energy up turned out to be difficult.

“You had to be full of energy all day,” Heidi said.

“It was a lot of fun to be in the studio and meet Steve Harvey. He is a great guy and very good at what he does. It was also tiring as we were in the audience while the other families were on stage because we had to hold the energy, applauding and laughing, “Derek said.

Derek said he liked a funny interaction with Harvey.

“Once we were not laughing as hard as Steve wanted, so he stopped the show and went on stage. He says, ‘Look, I do not know if I know this, but I’m really good,’ said Derek.

Grace said that after persistent applause and caresses, their family and other families involved felt closer when everything was said and done.

“When you look at the audience, instead of seeing an audience, you see some friends,” Grace said.

The family will soon relive the experience: Their show will air on WUXP My30 on Friday, November 12, and on Friday, November 19, at 6:30 p.m. The time may change. If you need additional information, visit the Family Feud website.