Film and TV

Meet the Phoenix Family Competing on Family Feud October 12

Name a Phoenix-area family that's competing on Family Feud this week. Stumped? Survey says it's time to meet the Saretskys. 

Cave Creek residents Marilyn and Robert Saretsky along with their daughters Erika and Randi — and Randi's husband Vade Pierce — will appear on a new episode of the long-running game show Family Feud airing Wednesday, October 12. 

The brood is fairly well-acquainted with TV competitions, as Marilyn has appeared on Wheel of Fortune and Face the Music. When she saw a commercial announcing Family Feud auditions in Phoenix, she got the others on board.

“We’re all very animated and expressive,” she says, “And I read that that would be a good fit for the show.”

So the Saretsky family joined thousands of others at tryouts, eventually went through a mock Family Feud session, and advanced to meet the show's producer. “So, they liked us,” she says.

About six weeks later, Marilyn got a postcard letting her know that her family was in contention to appear on an episode. Soon, they were called to participate.

The five-member family was flown to Atlanta in May to join the game and tape for the fall season. They’d spent hours watching episodes of the show, often on the phone with each other to prepare. They were ready, and did some more mock games in the actual studio, where there was still a chance they’d be bumped. But they weren’t.

“We played a couple different times and they really liked us, so, they got us on.” Marilyn says. “It was very surreal and a wonderful experience, and Steve Harvey was great. We got to have our picture with him.”

When the episode airs on October 12, these contestants plan to watch it as a family and not have a big viewing party, because that’s how this whole thing got started. “It was fun, a good family get-together,” Marilyn says. “Out of thousands of people, they picked us, and we’re just very thankful for that.”

New fall season episodes of Family Feud air from 7 to 8 p.m. on AZTV 7. For more information, check the AZTV website or Family Feud website.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.