Dingdong on his game show ‘Family Feud’ filling in for time slot vacated by ‘Wowowin’
For Dingdong Dantes, hosting a fun game show like “Family Feud” is a breather from the heavy acting projects he’s known for.
“For the longest time, I have been doing dramas, both on television and in movies. Those things have different requirements. But I feel at home doing ‘Family Feud’ because it doesn’t feel like work to me. I don’t have a serious role to play. What you see is what I’m like at home—chill, relaxed, dancing around from time to time,” he said in a recent virtual conference.
The Philippine version of “Family Feud” has been shown on three different networks since 2002: With Ogie Alcasid on ABC 5, from 2001 to 2002; with Richard Gomez, Dingdong and Edu Manzano on GMA 7, from 2008 to 2011; and with Luis Manzano on ABS-CBN, from 2016 to 2017.
This year, the local franchise of the popular American quiz program returns to the Kapuso network with Dingdong once again assuming “game master” duties. It will air weekdays, starting March 21, before the evening newscast, “24 Oras.”
Blessing and honor
This time slot was previously occupied by Willie Revillame’s recently concluded variety show “Wowowin.” Does Dingdong feel pressure about filling in the vacated schedule?
“No matter what time slot you’re in, you have to do well … give your 100 percent. Hosting a program that’s well-known around the world is a blessing and an honor. You have to be committed,” the GMA 7 star said. “But I believe this show’s format fits the time slot well.”
Hosting “Family Feud’’ more than a decade ago was one of the most memorable assignments given to him by his home network.
“That job really made a mark on me. I was already happy with my experience then; I can now say that I hosted a show I loved, a show that has franchises around the world. And so, when I heard there was a possibility that the show was returning to GMA 7, I couldn’t help but wonder who would get the hosting job. I wasn’t expecting, but I was excited about who the choice would be.”
In “Family Feud,” which currently has more than 30 active international franchises, two families or groups compete in naming the most popular answers to random survey questions.
“I don’t just facilitate the game; I join in the fun. I enjoy hosting it because I consider the stage as a home, where I welcome families. It’s like having friends over to play games. It’s not scripted, I don’t have information to deliver. I enjoy the interaction. It’s organic and anything can happen, which makes things more exciting.”
“Every episode, I get to meet eight new people with different personalities and energies,” the 41-year-old actor-host added. “And I enjoy giving a part of me to every family I meet. And in turn, I bring home with me new knowledge.”
Asked by the Inquirer what he thinks makes a good game show host, Dingdong said it’s “genuine warmth.” “You have to give off a certain level of comfort, as if you’re welcoming guests to your home. You don’t want them to feel awkward. But you also set the boundaries. When you overcome that, everything else will follow,” Dingdong said. INQ