JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
One hundred percent of Brooke Army Medical Center staff surveyed said the Barrera family did a (blank) job on the Family Feud. Survey says? “Awesome!”
Army Spc. Gabriella Patlan, a mobile medic at the Virtual Medical Center at BAMC, competed with members of her family on the long-running game show for a five episode stint Nov. 9-15.
The road to the show was long. In fact, it took years.
“A few years ago, like 2016, my family sent in an audition tape to the show,” Patlan said. “They got called to do in-person auditions in Austin, but the show never called them back.”
Last year, the show again announced they were looking for families from the Austin/San Antonio area. So, her aunt resubmitted the original audition tape, and the show called her back for another audition. This time over Zoom.
“We originally had six people on our team during the audition, but they only wanted five, so they ended up booting my dad,” she said laughingly. “The producer of the show was very kind and he kept our energy up. He told us we needed to stand out, be energetic and supportive of one another.”
They must have impressed the producers, because the Barrera team, consisting of Patlan, her uncle, two aunts and her cousin, flew all expenses paid to Atlanta, Georgia, in March.
“We taped our episodes in two days,” she said. “It was really exhausting, but we enjoyed ourselves. Each episode is 30 minutes with commercials, but it took about an hour to tape each one.”
Patlan said Steve Harvey was really funny. “There was a lot of banter back and forth that didn’t air, and every commercial break he would talk to the audience.”
A highlight for Patlan occurred during episode three. “We ended up in a tie, so we had to play sudden death and I had to go up to the buzzer. I won that game for our family,” she said proudly.
In the end, the Barrera family won about $41,500, but didn’t get the car, which is given away if a family wins all five games.
“I didn’t mind losing because, in the end, the family experience was the best part of the show,” Patlan said. “We came out of it closer as a family.”
Patlan isn’t sure what she will do with her share of the money, but a honeymoon trip or home renovations may be in her future.
“A lot of my friends watched the shows and were calling me,” Patlan said. “It was a really awesome experience.”