Leesburg man set to appear on 'Family Feud'

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ORLANDO, Ga. -- One lesson Mike Kardamis from Leesburg said he learned from auditioning not once, but twice, for a nationally syndicated game show is that it is all about the charisma.

Which he said his family, the Kerkhoffs, has plenty of.

"Our family is really great and auditioning (for "Family Feud") was one of the best days of my life," said Kardamis.

Kardamis, along with his sister Stacey, her husband Hal, his nephew Kyle and his mother Ann will appear on "Family Feud" Thursday when they go head-to-head with the Darling family from Yorba Linda, Calif.

The game show will be aired on WSST or channel 55 on Direct TV at 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Kardamis said the experience of appearing on "Family Feud" with new host Steve Harvey was exciting.

"It's kind of surreal when we got there (to the Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.) but it was a good experience," said the salesman. "The whole time you keep hoping not to mess up."

Stacey Kerkhoff said the family tried out for "Family Feud" 20 years ago when their father was still alive.

"This is kind of in honor for him and my mom," said Kerkhoff. "My mom still watches it to this day."

The family said they auditioned in Boston and were able to beat out more than 1,000 other families for a spot on the game show.

Kardamis said his family's charm, wit and his mother's spunk landed them the role.

"We wore matching outfits and brought some music with us," said the 43-year-old. "It's all about the enthusiasm you show. That is what the producers are looking for."

Kardamis said his mother, Ann, who practices kickboxing in her retirement, sparred with host Harvey during the show.

"She was really great and we had practiced a lot for the audition," said Kardamis.

The 43-year-old salesman said he hopes his clients will tune in Thursday to see a different side of him.

"My friends know what I'm like and they know I'm a joker," said Kardamis. "I think my clients will get to see that side of me on the show."

The game show contestant said the family prepared for the show by practicing the game on the Wii and honing in on a huddle technique.

"We are all pretty competitive," said Kardamis. "We were really serious about winning."

Kerkhoff, whose daughter Kelsey is a senior in high school in Massachusetts and her son Kyle attends Boston College, said if the family won they planned on using the money to pay off student loans and perhaps take a vacation.

Kardamis said the show was taped in July but still plans on watching the show and hopes that others will too to see if the Kerkhoff family wins.

"It will be interesting to see what they edit out and what they include," said the game show contestant. "We had some pretty funny moments in there."