We begin with a very uncomfortable interview with heartbroken Jamaican speller Hanif. Shoving a microphone in his face is unkind; he tells us that this is his only time at the Bee because in Jamaica you only get once chance. Poor kid.
Laura Newcombe starts the round off with a very impressive display, spelling chlorthalidone right after muttering “Shoot!” under her breath in a panic.
The kids are very serious this year. Too serious. I am worried that either Veronica Penny or Jenny Solheim might vomit right there on the stage. BBC Bailly would not like that.
Dreikanter. Renminbi. Helychrysum. Liptauer. The words get more difficult and the kids keeps spelling them correctly.
Cutie Claire Zuo goes down on clepsydra. I am saddened to lose the coolest girl in the Bee. But she seems fine, calm and cool. Of course, anyone smart enough to list “sleeping” as one of her favorite activities wins my loyalty.
Stuti Mishra is mowed down by coelurosaur which is some kind of dinosaur. Her parents clutched their younger child, eyes closed. Stressed out. A kind of calm settled over Stuti, that calm that comes when you know you are going to lose and you want it over with. And she’s gone.
German words start coming into play. Surjo Bandyopadhyay looks disgusted and annoyed by his word, also a little disappointed in BBC Bailly. Nachschlag: a musical ornament consisting of one or several short unaccented grace notes attached to and played in the time of the preceding main note or tone. When he gets it wrong he howls, “FAIL!” And when BBC Bailly spells it for him, he laughs and says, “oooookay!” He is gracious and funny and I am sad this is his last year.
We lose Siddharth on semplice. And that is four spellers down out of 10. It’s a blood bath.
10:37 am/1:37 pm: Mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state. That is the definition of Anja Beth Swoap’s word weltschmerz. Another German word. I think I am weltschmerz most of the time. Isn’t everyone?
The children, they fall like dominoes. Conor Gunsbury goes down on pavonazzo. 6 of the last 7 spellers have been eliminated. In an interview, Surjo gleefully declares Round 6 “INSANE” in terms of the difficulty of the words.
Jenny Solheim is put out of her misery by a poisonous alkaloid used chiefly as a sedative in connection with morphine or other analgesics in surgery and obstetrics, in the prevention of motion sickness, and as the truth serum in lie detector tests. The word scopolamine knocks her to the mat and she is finished. I think she is relieved to have it over with. It is hard to tell. She barely blinks. I hope she gets to do something fun now. Like not study spelling words to be like her Bee alumni mother. Who I am sure is a very nice Mom but, dude, that child just did not look happy.
Nevada native, Dakota staunches the blood flow by correctly spelling solenne. He might win the whole thing...
Sweet Nabeel Rahman spells ponceau. 11 year old Sriram Hathwar blows everyone away by spelling degringolade in a relaxed, bored manner. In 2008, he was the youngest competitor every to compete in the Bee. This is old hat for him.
Nicholas Rushlow gets a word that means covered with minute crystals. He gets origin, has it pronounced a bunch then he asks for something else that can help him. BBC Bailly gives him a sentence. Nicholas says, “That didn’t help me.” The audience laughs. Nicholas sighs, defeated, and spells drusy. He nearly explodes with joy when he finds out he spelled it correctly.
Mashad Arora is starting to charm me. I find myself rooting for him. He spells entremets (dishes served in addition to the main course of a meal) correctly and beams with relief. Samuel Estep also correctly spells a French word: malentendu (a misunderstanding).
Last speller in Round 6, Parker is up. He goes down on vitrophyre. Round 6 is over. 8 spellers gone. 18 spellers remain. On to Round 7...