Wednesday, June 1, 2005

BEE READY: How could we possibly make our third straight year of live National Spelling Bee coverage even better, beginning today with the first four rounds (not televised)?

We do what any show does: bring in the Very Special Guest.

This year, the ALOTT5MA team is thrilled that we will be joined for live commentary tomorrow on the televised rounds by the ultracool Shonda Rhimes, longtime fan of this site and creator of the hit ABC medical show Grey's Anatomy, an hour of television so smart and fun that we long ago dropped any and all complaints about her depriving us of Dennycrane until fall.

Oh: and she is, in her own words, "a crazed Spelling Bee fan and proud of it."

Here's how today's rounds work: first round, occurring as we speak, is a 25 word written round, one point each. Then every competitor has one chance, in round two, to rock the mic in front of his or her parents, all 273 of them. Spell that word right, and it's three points. The 90+ kids with the highest combined scores (including ties at the lowest score needed to produce at least 90) move on to the remaining rounds (two today), while the other 180 will start looking at the IMAX schedules.

Bottom line: if you've got a severe case of logorrhea, we're the cure. Please welcome Shonda kindly, and let the coverage begin.

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