‘Kumquat Kid’ wins $10,000 for funny video

Article Published: Mar. 29, 2012 | Modified: Mar. 29, 2012
‘Kumquat Kid’ wins $10,000 for funny video

The Pond family, from left, Casey, Ryder, Ruby, Nancee and Reid, pose for a photo at the Sunrise Grill after the announcement that their video had won $10,000 on the ABC television show ‘America’s Funniest Videos.’
Photos by Jeff Eason

Two years ago, Nancee Pond of Boone filmed her son, Ryder, as he ate his second ever kumquat.

When he ate the first one, he made a “sour face” that Nancee and her daughter, Ruby, found so funny that they decided to grab the video camera and see if it would happen again. It did.

The kumquat episode made for a funny video that the Pond family posted on YouTube for their friends and family to enjoy.

“Last year, we were watching ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ on TV, and I told Nancee that our video was funnier than some of the ones that won prizes on the show,” said Nancee’s husband, Casey Pond. “So, we sent it in to ‘AFV’ a year ago.

“Last June, we got a call, and they said they were interested in it for another show and told us to take it off of YouTube. The next day, we got another call, and they said never mind about the other show, we want the video for ‘America’s Funniest Videos.’”

Four weeks ago the entire Pond family, Nancee, Casey, Ryder and his sisters, Reid and Ruby, flew out to Los Angeles for the taping of “America’s Funniest Videos,” where they knew they were already one of the three finalists vying for the top prize of $10,000.

Their competition included a wobbly model falling off a runway and a little girl punching a Halloween skeleton yard decoration in the head.

The taping of “America’s Funniest Videos” took place in Manhattan Beach, Calif., about 10 miles south of Los Angeles at the same studio used by the “CSI” police dramas.

“We were there for four days, so we got to enjoy a bit of sightseeing,” Nancee Pond said. “We went to Chinatown, saw a giant vinyl swap where people sold old record albums. Then we saw a break-dancing ‘dance off.’ Ryder wanted to get in on that.”

To celebrate the airing of their edition of “America’s Funniest Videos,” the Ponds invited their friends and family to watch it at their restaurant, Sunrise Grill, in Boone last Sunday.

About 40 adults and 40 kids showed up for the party last Sunday for burgers and chicken from an outdoor grill, games in the restaurant’s game room, fun aplenty and, of course, to watch the show.
It also included a fair bit of mystery, because the Ponds were forbidden by ABC to tell anyone how well their video had done on the show.

“They are really strict about keeping everything a secret until the show airs,” Casey Pond said.

At 7 p.m., everyone at the “AFV” party gathered in the dining room to watch the show. Host Tom Bergeron introduced the opening videos, most of which involved somebody taking a fall.

About halfway through the show, Bergeron introduced the video of Ryder Pond, calling him “The Kumquat Kid.”

Near the end of the broadcast, host Bergeron introduced the three finalist videos. There were some scattered “boos” at the Sunrise Grill when he introduced the Halloween and wobbly model videos and tremendous cheer when Ryder’s video came on. When it was announced that the Ponds’ video had won first place and $10,000, the crowd went wild with whoops and high fives.

“So, next week we’ll be flying out to California for the season finale of the show,” Casey Pond said. “This time, our video will be competing against other finalists for $100,000.”

If the Ponds manage to win the $100,000 grand prize, “The Kumquat Kid” might just be a nickname that sticks.

“This is why I love Boone,” Nancee Pond said. “When everyone gets together and has fun, it’s just like a big family reunion.”

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