Lo­cal fam­ily ap­pears on ‘Fam­ily Feud’

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Stein lstein@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @lstein­re­porter on Twit­ter

An ap­pear­ance on “Fam­ily Feud” has a group of cousins look­ing for more ways to part­ner and share ex­pe­ri­ences.

CHESTERBROOK >> An ap­pear­ance on “Fam­ily Feud” has one group of cousins look­ing for more ways to part­ner and share ex­pe­ri­ences.

The Philadel­phia area fam­ily ap­peared on “Fam­ily Feud” Wed­nes­day (Oct. 26) at 7:30 p.m. on the CW Philly chan­nel, said Julie Abra­ham. Abra­ham, 36, of Chesterbrook, her sis­ter, Jamie Vargh­ese, 33, of Beth­page, N.Y., cousins Jesu Philip, 30, Dhanya Varugh­ese, 24, and Danny Varugh­ese, 21, all of Philadel­phia, heard on so­cial me­dia in Jan­uary that the game show was hav­ing try­outs in Philadel­phia and de­cided to give it a go, said Abra­ham. They sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion with pho­tos and a video they made “not ex­pect­ing much,” she said. But they found out that they were one of 700 fam­i­lies se­lected to au­di­tion at the Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Philadel­phia at the end of Jan­uary. It was funny to see so many fam­ily groups wear­ing color co­or­di­nated cloth­ing, she said. Her fam­ily chose blue and yel­low togs.

“We au­di­tioned and thought we did pretty well,” she said. “We chalked it up to a good ex­pe­ri­ence.” Then they were thrilled to dis­cover they’d been se­lected to go to At­lanta for a tap­ing to pos­si­bly ap­pear on the game show, which pre­miered in July 1976.

“Grow­ing up we al­ways watched ‘Fam­ily Feud’,” said Abra­ham. “We were say­ing, re­gard­less of what hap­pened, it was an amaz­ing bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.” At the stu­dio they met the pro­duc­ers and host Steve Har­vey, who she said was “fab­u­lous.”

“We all think he’s a su­per funny co­me­dian,” said Abra­ham. It was in­ter­est­ing to see what goes on be­hind the scenes at a tele­vi­sion show, she said. But be­ing on the show, which pits one five­mem­ber fam­ily against an­other for money and prizes, was harder than you might ex­pect, she said.

“It was hard,” said Abra­ham. “When you’re at home and sit­ting in your liv­ing room, in the com­fort of your own space” (you se­cond guess con­tes­tants), say­ing “they should have said that. But it’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence in front of the cam­eras, with an au­di­ence there and be­ing in the pres­ence of Steve Har­vey. There are so many ele­ments. It’s ac­tu­ally harder to play (on TV) than in the com­fort of your liv­ing room.” The tap­ing took at least an hour, she said. “There were a lot of good, funny mo­ments we ex­pe­ri­enced there,” said Abra­ham.

Abra­ham, a soft­ware en­gi­neer, runs marathons in her spare time and is a mem­ber of the Fast Tracks run­ning club in Val­ley Forge. She and her sis­ter, Jamie Vargh­ese, grew up in Cin­namin­son, N.J. Vargh­ese is mar­ried, the mother of two chil­dren and likes to cook.

Philip works as an ex­ec­u­tive re­cruiter, paints and likes to ex­plore the city and try new restau­rants.

Dhanya Varugh­ese is a stu­dent at Lib­erty Univer­sity pur­su­ing a master’s de­gree in hu­man ser­vices and life coach­ing. She would like to work with chil­dren even­tu­ally and loves live mu­sic. Danny Varugh­ese is a se­nior at Tem­ple Univer­sity purs­ing his bach­e­lor’s in adult or­ga­ni­za­tional de­vel­op­ment. He is also a song­writer and gui­tar player who per­forms in the Philadel­phia area.

The fam­ily, ex­cept for Vargh­ese, will watch the show to­gether at the Cherry Street Tav­ern in Philadel­phia.

“We re­ally feel like we’ve bonded,” said Abra­ham. “It gives us a greater love for each other.” They hope to un­der­take an­other project to­gether. “The fact that we were able to suc­cess­fully do this, I feel like we can do some­thing to­gether,” she said.


From left, Jesu Philip, Jamie Vargh­ese, Julie Abra­ham, Steve Har­vey, Dhanya Varugh­ese and Danny Varugh­ese on “Fam­ily Feud.”

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