‘A little bit surreal’: Wei Wai Kum family shines on Family Feud Canada

'A little bit surreal': Wei Wai Kum family shines on Family Feud Canada
Photo credit: CBC/Family Feud Canada
The Roberts family of Campbell River, B.C., competes on Family Feud Canada, Dec. 5, 2022. From left are: Marian Atkinson, Iris Rayburn, Julie Bronson, Robyn Ross, Julie Bronson and Sheryl Thompson.

For the Roberts’, it’s all family and no feud.

But on a Dec. 5 episode of CBC’s Family Feud Canada, the Campbell River clan was up for a challenge and let their personalities shine through the TV screen, all the while marking a big check off their bucket lists. 

“It was kind of cool how it happened. We were just sitting around playing cards and we were talking about Family Feud, just joking around saying, ‘We should get on there! That’d be so fun!'” said Robyn Ross, one of the contestants.

Next thing you know, Ross’ sister, Sheryl Thompson, got the ball rolling. She started brainstorming audition ideas with Ross and her other sister, Julie Bronson, as well as her cousins, Iris Rayburn and Marian Atkinson.

They’re all related to Bill Roberts, a former Hereditary Chief of the Campbell River-based Wei Wai Kum First Nation, and thought what better way to catch people’s attention than by showing off their origins.

“I like to walk my talk and I asked the girls, who wants to get in?” said Thompson. “Then I thought of some attention-getting things and we decided to all wear cedar bark hats and native attire and made an audition video.”

Then in September, CBC called and quickly extended an invitation, flying the group from the Salmon Capital to Toronto, where they were put up in a hotel and, not long after, behind the camera facing off against another family.

“It was a little bit surreal,” recalled Thompson.

“For me, I don’t think I was really thinking about what’s going on, that we’re going to be on TV,” she said with a laugh. “When I get nervous, I seem to get animated and I’ll say very different things, even in my job.”

The game show, currently in its fourth season, is hosted by Canadian comedian Gerry Dee, who’s also known for his role on the sitcom Mr. D.

“Gerry, he’s funny,” exclaimed Ross. “He does a good job at what he does. He knows how to improvise with the crazy answers he gets. It’s funny how he jokes around.”

When it came to competing, they did great at first, but things took a turn, according to Ross in an interview with CHEK News.

“They take you to the set before taping and we were really excited because when we did the run-through, we did really well on that. We are acing all the answers, then I don’t know what happened to the actual game,” she said with a laugh.

“Stage fright, maybe?”

While the opposing family, the Wilsons for Whitby, Ont., defeated the Roberts, they didn’t leave empty-handed — in fact, they each got $200.

“It was such a great experience and they gave us a little bit of money for our points that they split up amongst us,” according to Ross, who says the funds were used to visit the Honeymoon Capital, which is about an hour away.

“I’ve been recovering from breast cancer and on my bucket list was to go to Niagara Falls. With the money we got, we took a bus tour to the Falls. I didn’t think I’d be able to get there myself in my life,” she said. “It was just a really great experience. I was really fortunate and grateful.”

The rest of the ladies felt the same.

“My cousin Marian always wanted to see a Blue Jays game, which was right around the corner from where we were staying. So she did that. It was a great experience,” added Thompson.

“I’d encourage anybody (who wants to get on Family Feud Canada) to give it a try. It was relatively easy. It was just a bit of a process, that’s all.”

Watch the Roberts family’s episode here.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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