The final round of Tuesday’s episode of Family Feud Canada had Gertie Mercer Hodder frowning in concentration.
With $10,000 on the line, she was tapped by her four sisters to take the stage solo and guess the most popular answers to five questions.
“Name a seasoning a chef uses the most,” commanded host Gerry Dee.
“Ranch,” Mercer Hodder blurted out.
She immediately realized it may not be the popular spice her under-pressure brain conjured up. “If you’d seen my eyes you’d know,” Mercer Hodder laughed Wednesday morning.
The gaffe led to merciless, but good-natured, teasing from the rest of her team.
“Of course, after I got back to the hotel my sisters were saying, ‘Yeah, put ranch on everything. Yes, my dear, put ranch on it.'”
Although she didn’t score points for that answer, she gave the Mercer team enough of a boost to nab a $10,000 windfall — and a chance to play again.
“I was surprised. We’re not a lucky bunch of people,” Mercer Hodder said.
Even if the sisters hadn’t won, she said, it was still the trip of a lifetime — and an opportunity to spend a few days with siblings now spread out across the continent.
“We were born and raised in Horwood,” an outport near Twillingate with a population of about 300, she said. “We were so proud to put them up on the board.”
Mercer Hodder’s sister, Geraldine Bennett, said she was a bundle of nerves watching the episode — despite having been back home for nearly a month.
“I was actually more nervous watching the show last night than I was in Ontario taping it,” she said. “And I knew the outcome.”
Bennett said playing the game itself helped reduce the anxiety of competing under bright studio lights. Banter with the show’s host helped, she added.
“We carried on with him a lot,” she chuckled.
Bennett, like her sister, also had a moment of confusion — one that led to her suggesting children might make a nice meal for a polar bear.
“When they ask you a question, sometimes your mind [goes] blank,” she said.
The easy mistakes, of course, led to laughs — as they always do when the sisters find each other again.
“We’re all fond when we get together,” said Mercer Hodder. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing and we’ll never do it again.”
The Mercer team will face off again Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on CBC.
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