Bobek family returns for another round on 'Family Feud'
The five Bobek siblings, whose musical talents and Polish heritage took them all the way to the "Family Feud" show, turn up again next week. Family members will compete on the show's opening episode of its new season.
They return at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, on WPWR channel 50. If they win, they return the next night. The episodes were filmed last year, but a nondisclosure contract prevents them from revealing how they did.
One thing they can discuss are the results of their first two episodes that aired back in February. They won back to back shows, and so far have earned $20,000.
"We were winners just for being selected," says Jan Bobek of Bolingbrook, the middle of the five siblings -- including two from his mother's first marriage -- who now teaches music and orchestra at Willowbrook High School.
"Just being flown out to Universal Studios in Hollywood was a dream come true," he adds. "We felt like movie stars, so for us it was a win from the start."
Besides Jan, the Bobek family includes Jeff Gal of Bartlett, Danuta Gal of Wood Dale, Matt Bobek of Harwood Heights and Dan Bobek of Chicago.
Their adventure began in 2018 when they responded to an open casting call at the Schaumburg Convention Center. Looking to stand out, they wore authentic Highlander folk costumes from the southern region of Poland, where their family originated, and brought their musical instruments with them.
The three youngest brothers perform in a family band called Kapela Hajducy, which plays at Polish festivals and regularly at the Highlander House on Chicago's Southwest Side. But all of the siblings grew up immersed in music and their Polish heritage.
"There was no question in our house," Jan Bobek adds. "We all learned to play the violin."
In the first episodes, host Steve Harvey even played tambourine along with them as they performed a quick song they wrote for "Family Feud."
"Being on set was so surreal," says Matt Bobek, who teaches physical education at Lane Tech High School in Chicago.
"Nothing can truly prepare you for the nerves you experience in the spotlight," he says. "We had pep talks between takes, we encouraged one another, and kept a positive attitude throughout the taping."
The family is a close one. As soon as they found out they had been selected to compete, they began playing the board game version of "Family Feud" at every holiday.
"As soon as we were finished eating, we'd get out the game," Jan Bobek says. "It became a really cool family event, and super fun to have all the generations play."
His sister, Danuta Gal, adds that the players themselves held conference calls three times a week to go through questions, and as their gig became closer, they practiced every day.
"We also Googled previous episodes and played along with the show," Gal says. "Ultimately, we're just very tight siblings."
Jan Bobek says through all their practice sessions, they determined the strengths of each sibling and consequently decided what position everyone would play.
"The actual viewer probably doesn't realize it, but the lead-off question is usually just a warm-up question," Bobek says. "It's the third question that often has triple point value, and the caboose player gets the sudden death question, which hardly ever comes up.
"I guess it's my background as a teacher," he adds, "but we analyzed all these things and put a lot of strategy into it to make sure we did as well as we could."
When their first episode aired -- many months after it had been taped -- the large extended family gathered together for a party to watch. This time, given the social distancing order, they will gather together virtually to see their episode.
"Our preparation, love and support for one another helped us succeed," Matt Bobek says. "We practiced daily and watched the show religiously. We were there to have fun, but like any other family, we wanted to win. It was a life-changing experience that brought us closer together."