SHU professor, alum battle it out on ‘Family Feud’

A family full of Seton Hall alums adventured to Atlanta to play “Family Feud.” Communications Professor Thomas Rondinella and his daughter, senior Julia Rondinella, were in attendance for this game show showdown airing at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20 on the My9 Network.

Being a contestant on “Family Feud” is far from an easy process. Their journey began last fall when the Rondinella family had a preliminary audition in Atlantic City, N.J., Thomas Rondinella said.

Mock games were played and each prospective family had to learn from the other families’ mistakes. The Rondinellas made it from the first round to the next, but that was not all they had to prove. They then had to wait to be contacted by mail and phone, submit dates they could go to attend and audition yet again once they arrived in Atlanta, according to Thomas Rondinella.

Because this process is so extensive, not everyone that makes it to Atlanta makes it on the show. These potential contestants do comprise about half the audience, however.

“They bring in some people from the outside,” Thomas Rondinella said. “They ask if you have friends or family in Atlanta and we did. We had friends and family. I actually had a student come.”

Being a part of the audience, whether because you weren’t casted or because you know someone auditioning has its benefits, too. According to Julia Rondinella, Steve Harvey is quite the entertainer.

“I was very surprised at how nice Steve Harvey was,” Julia Rondinella said. “He didn’t sit down at all, in between the commercial breaks he was basically doing stand-up with the audience.”

In fact, both Thomas and Julia Rondinella had only nice things to say about their host, who they said was very welcoming and genuine while they were there.

Thomas Rondinella did say that the hardest part of the show was when Harvey was talking right before it was time to answer, because if you don’t have an answer you’re not going to think of one.

“The thing is,” he said, “when you go blank you really go blank.”

Thomas and Julia Rondinella both said they would go on “Family Feud” again, if the opportunity ever arose. According to them the families get along off stage. Julia Rondinella even said she is friends with one of the families on Facebook.

Samantha Giedris can be reached at

Author: Samantha Giedris

Samantha Giedris is a senior journalism major with minors in political science and women and gender studies. She is currently the Managing Editor of The Setonian and a member of Alpha Phi Fraternity. In the past year, she has interned at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Birchbox. Samantha can be reached at

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