More than genetics link the contestants on next week’s Family Feud television show—four of the five members of the Coker/Tranchell family contestants are also Gordon College students and graduates.
Hannah Coker ’09, English; Hala Coker ’12, psychology; Hattie Coker ’13, psychology; and their cousins Alessio Tranchell ’14, music; and Amira Tranchell, a junior psychology major at Clark University (all of East Falmouth, Massachusetts) auditioned for the game show in Saugus on a whim last May. To their surprise, they were selected and flown to Georgia in July for a day of filming as contestants on Family Feud. Dressed in matching purple, the Coker/Tranchell family will compete in the ultimate TV family face-off beginning on September 26, at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.
“The whole experience was unreal, including our host, Steve Harvey, who was hysterical!” said Hattie. “Steve and the crew cracked jokes about four of the five of us attending Gordon, but they adored us and even said we were one of their favorite families to be on the Feud.”
Family Feud, which began airing in 1976, is a contest between two families—each consisting of five members—to name the most popular response to a survey question posed to 100 people. According to Hala, the strangest question they were asked was, “What animal needs an extra large Q-tip to clean its ears?” Each episode consists of six rounds of questions and the chance to win up to $20,000.
“I can’t tell you if we won, but I can tell you I used to pretend to be sick so that I could stay home from school and watch game shows,” says Hattie, who saw a tweet that auditions were being held in the Boston area and recruited her family for the event.
“We never imagined that we’d actually be selected,” says Hala. “When we arrived at the studio we were completely awestruck by all of the lights and people. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
The Coker/Tranchell family quickly took on the nickname, “the Coka’ kids” because of their ages, Hannah being the oldest at 23. “Most families have at least one parent or grandparent on the team,” says Hala. “I think people underestimated us because we’re so young and smiley.”
According to the Coker/Tranchell family, the 11-hour day of filming is a happy blur and they are looking forward to sitting back and watching their Family Feud debut.