2014 National Spelling Bee Finals!

It turns out there were co-champions this year! Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe went back and forth, spelling words like “nocifensor”, “paixtle”, “sdrucciola” and “gemeinschaft.” They exhausted all of the 25 words in the championship rounds. In Round 22, Sriram spelled “stichomythia” and Ansun correctly spelled “feuilleton” and were declared co-champions. This has not happened since 1962, so it came as a big surprise. It was very fun to watch and I can’t wait to watch again next year!

2014 National Spelling Bee Semifinals

The National Spelling Bee Stage before all of the spellers enter.

The National Spelling Bee Semifinals were amazing! All of the spellers at the Bee are encouraging and supportive of one another. When Syamantak Payra, an 8th grader from Texas, missed the word “circumforaneous” and was eliminated, the other spellers and the audience gave him a standing ovation because he was a finalist last year and could have won this year.

There were so many great words, but I found the following to be the most interesting:

1. gehenna – a place or state of misery.

2. urceiform – shaped like an ancient Roman jug or pitcher with one handle.

3. tachytely – evolution at a fast rate resulting in speedy differentiation of new types.

4. ananke – a personification of compelling necessity or ultimate fate to which even the gods must yield.

5. concinnate – put together with neat propriety.

6. laulau – meat and fish wrapped in leaves and baked or steamed.

7. ormolu – a brass used to imitate gold and is used for decoration.

8. cadelle – the larva or adult of a small black beetle destructive to stored grain and sometimes preying on other insects.

9. retrorse – bent backward or downward.

10. serictery – the silk-producing gland of a caterpillar.

I am off to go and watch the finals right now!

2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee kicks off!

The National Spelling Bee is finally here!

The 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee has finally arrived!! Today spellers had to endure two rounds on stage in front of bright lights, a big crowd, cameras and reporters. Spellers have two minutes to spell their words. On stage, the spellers see a stoplight that changes colors depending on how much time they have left. Once the stoplight gets to red, it means they have 30 seconds to spell their word. I found this to be very nerve-racking when I stood on stage as a participant in the 2013 National Bee.

46 of the 281 spellers will proceed to the semifinals tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. EST on ESPN2. Semifinalists are chosen based on a combination of their score on a written spelling and vocabulary test taken yesterday and on stage spelling today. The highest combined scorers at the end of Round 3 advance; a maximum of 50 spellers are able to advance.

The championship finals are scheduled for tomorrow evening at 8:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.  My favorites to win this year are Vanya Shivashankar, a seventh grader from Kansas or Sriram Hathwar, an eighth grader from New York. This is Vanya’s fourth year at the Bee and she tied for fifth place last year. Sriram tied for third place last year and this is his fifth and final year of competition. Do you have a favorite?