Wendy Sibbett Wikston, Susan Sibbett Willford, Penny Sibbett Wise, Lynda Sibbett Carson, and Cheryl Sibbett Wikston on the set of Family Feud Canada. SUPPLIED

Local quintet competes for cash in episode airing next Wednesday

September 2019 was when the plan was hatched.

The five Sibbett sisters — Wendy Sibbett Wikston, Susan Sibbett Willford, Penny Sibbett Wise, Lynda Sibbett Carson, and Cheryl Sibbett Wikston — were at a wedding, and in a mood to party. As the champagne flowed, they got talking. “Why not create a video and submit it to Family Feud?”

Family Feud Canada, to be precise, a popular TV game show featuring comedian Gerry Dee as its host. The series is based on the highly successful American original, hosted by Steve Harvey, which is ranked in the top three most popular syndicated television shows in the US and has spawned adaptations in some 50 countries.

The concept is simple: two families compete to name the most popular responses to family-friendly survey questions in order to win cash and prizes. Each round begins with a “face-off” question that serves as a toss-up between two opposing contestants. The host asks a survey question that was previously posed to a group of 100 people.

For example, “This question was asked of 100 single men: ‘Name the hour that you get up on Sunday mornings.’” The team that wins by answering closest to the survey result plays a “fast round” for $10,000 in cold, hard, tax-free cash.

Families eager to appear on the show must create a five minute video introducing their team of five, which describes what makes their family unique, supportive, fun, talented, and even quirky. Energy and enthusiasm must be exuded to achieve an audition.

The sisters, who all live in Pelham or Welland, sent in their video, but didn’t hear anything until this June.

“Because of COVID-19, they couldn’t audition us in person, so we did a Zoom meeting,” said Wendy.

“The producers asked us questions, and we played a mock game of Family Feud. We had a great session, but were told that 5000 people had applied to be on the show, so they couldn’t make any promises. They said that if we were selected, we would hear from them by early September.”

As the end of August approached, with no word from Family Feud, the sisters were losing hope. But on September 5, the phone rang, and it was good news: “See you at the CBC in Toronto on the first Sunday in October,” said a public relations representative for the show.

After compulsory coronavirus testing and a contestant briefing on the Sunday, the show was recorded the next day, on Monday.

“It was such a blast, the best experience. The people that run that show are just awesome,” send Wendy.

Contestants sign a non-disclosure agreement with the program, and accordingly Wendy couldn’t share the outcome of the contest, or whether her bank account was $10,000 richer.

The Sibbett Sisters episode of Family Feud Canada’s season two airs at 7:30 PM next Wednesday, Dec. 16, on CBC.