A Cuyahoga Falls family is feuding.
The Pallottas will battle on "Family Feud," with host Steve Harvey, on Thursday afternoon. It's been a long journey. The family auditioned at Kalahari in Sandusky in October 2017. They taped their appearance in Los Angeles in June 2018. Their episode of the show is slated to air at 3 p.m. Thursday on WOIO (Channel 19), nearly 18 months after their tryout.
"It was a wonderful experience," family patriarch Vic Pallotta said.
He was not allowed on the show because the rules do not allow politicians to compete. "I told them, 'I'm a councilman from Cuyahoga Falls, I'm not the governor of Ohio or anything.' "
Pallotta, a Republican, represents Ward 3. Though he couldn't be on the show, he still flew west with the family. The team that ended up competing consisted of his wife, Diana, and three of their five grown children: son Matthew, daughter Kristin Oravec, daughter Emily Anderson and her husband, Brandyn.
The process began when they sent in an audition tape. That was followed by two rounds of tryouts over one day at Kalahari. Pallotta said the show paid for five airfares (he paid for his own) and their hotel rooms. The show also sent a limo to pick them up the morning of the taping.
"There's a morning session and an afternoon session at the studio," he said. "My family went on in the afternoon. There are 300 people in the audience, and after the morning shows, they bring in a new audience."
Pallotta said Harvey, who grew up in Cleveland, was "very friendly and personable."
As part of each show, Harvey briefly chats up the competing families. When the Pallottas started to explain where Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was, Harvey interrupted and told a touching story about how he had struggled as a young man, living out of his car for several years, and that a turning point in his life came in 1985 when he got his first big break — at the Hilarities comedy club in Cuyahoga Falls.
Pallotta recounted that Harvey concluded his story with, "So I know Cuyahoga Falls!"
It is unknown if that moment will air on the finished show. (According to Beacon Journal archives, Harvey won $100 and a booking for finishing second in a three-week "all-star amateur night joke-off" at Hilarities in October 1985.)
Pallotta is not allowed to reveal if his wife and children ended up winning, but he did say that cheering for your family can be exhausting.
"They tell the audience to keep applauding all the time," he said. "I was so tired at the end of the day, I never wanted to clap again."
Clint O’Connor covers pop culture. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ClintOMovies.