ROUND FIVE: 41 Spellers. We begin with Kevin Lazenby (#1)... who we immediately lose on hortulan.
Samaita Mulk (#5) has the cutest kid voice I have heard in a long time. It makes her adorable -- like a tiny spelling fluffy bunny. Every heard of a plant suited to arc it or alpine conditions? Psychrophyte.
(Apparently Samaita has bees painted on her fingernails. Making her even more adorable).
Snigdha Nandipati (#19) has a Haitian Creole word compas which is a popular music of Haiti that combines Cuban and African rhythms. She gets it right but it takes her a while.
We lose Siddharth Kulkarni (#20) on Liederkranz, a German word and we lose Mignon Tsai (#27) on macropodid. Spellers are going down right and left!
The bloodbath continues with Rahul Malayappan (#31).
SHOCKER! We have lost Grace Remmer (#40)! She is felled by athanor! I am stunned. STUNNED. Grace is, as always, a wonderful competitor who, after being eliminated, calls out cheerily "Thank you, everyone!" Athanor is a self-feeding digesting furnace. And it ate Grace.
We lose Christal Schermeister (#43) on calo. We've now lost 6 of the total 11 spellers who have stepped up to the microphone in this round.
Let's discuss the Kiss n' Cry area. Which is what I am now calling the Comfort Room. Because in the old days, the ousted spellers were ushered into a private room to grieve their loss. Now, like figure skaters, they are ushered into a space that sits in full view of everyone and a tv camera is shoved into their faces as they deal with the end of their dream. In figure skating, this is called the Kiss n' Cry and the fact that the Bee has done away with the Comfort Room for the Kiss n' Cry is a travesty. These are children, people.
Stuti Mishra (#44) got the word fjeld which means a barren plateau of the Scandinavian upland. Rachael Cundey (#49) got storis which means a floating mass of closely crowded icebergs and floes.
Simon Ricci (#58) goes down on aoristic. Pranav Sivakumar (#66) is out on oecus. The bloodbath gets bloodier...
Gifton Wright (#89) correctly spells tocopherol which mean any of several pale yellow fat-soluble oily liquid phenolic compounds that have antioxidant properties and vitamin E activity in varying degrees.
Vanya (#94) who is such a rock star that I don't even need to say her last name is being profiled on EPSN 2 right now. I deeply wish I had been as bubbly and full of joy as that little girl when I was her age. I am now rooting for her like crazy. When told that her word has an unknown language of origin, she says to BBC Jacques, "That helps!" And gets a laugh. Her word is mascalage which is the harvesting of the bark of the cork oak. She spells it easily. She's the epitome of little girl awesome. She plays the tuba, people. If she gets any more awesome, my head might explode.
Belated shout out to Gina Solomito (#79) who correctly spelled gotterdammerung.
We lose Emma Steimle (#93) on Schwyzer! We lose Emily Keaton (#94) on chamaephyte! See Samir's thoughts in the comments section of this post on why these round 5 words are so much harder for the Bee competitors than those in round 4.
And Jack Nolan (#105) goes down on at open! We've lost 11 spellers in this round so far.
In the comments sections, Samir says:
Also, Shonda, no mention of the fact that tocopherol was MY word way back when? =Þ
You know what is crazy, Samir? The word came up and my head snapped to attention. My antennae went up but I could not figure out why that word felt so familiar to me...now I know!
Bombycine: of or relating to silkworms is an juicy word. I'm going to try to work it into a sentence at work today.
We lose Sanjana Malla (#148) on a word I'm can't even copy down here (okay, I can: thysanopterist). This round is brutal!
Sruti Akula (#156) goes down on gimbaled. This is painful.
They are doing a video intro of Arvind Mahankali (#162) which is all about how close he is to his little brother. Arvind is a tennis fanatic and full of charm. I hope he wins because I want to see if he and his little brother really will do the yell they showed us in his video. His word is rhipidate and...he gets it right!
Sunny Levine (#185) gets polos, a crazy word meaning a high crown or headdress of cylindrical shape, represented as worn by ancient Greek goddesses. I am devastated when she gets it wrong. She was made for the finals! Why?! As this is her final year of eligibility, we won't be seeing her again.
1:09 pm: 14 spellers have been eliminated in this round so far.
Nicholas Rushlow (#193) is still in it after correctly spelling theophylline.
We lose Dharani Kotekal (#198) on cabochon. We lose Vishnu Nistala on araphorostic. We lose forearm-speller Max Lee (#202) on resveratrol! I'm starting to get sad...
And awesome Lena Greenberg (#213) restores my faith in humanity! She rocks the word contrecoup and rushes back to her seat.
But we lose Chetan Reddy (#237) on soboliferous. And down goes Abigail Spitzer (#238) on pat as. 19 spellers gone.
Last three spellers are up!
Mark De Los Santos (#239) from Texas correctly spells nudibranch one of a suborder of marine gastropod mollusks lacking a shell in the adult state and typically having a body suggesting a slug.
Vismaya Kharkar (#254) works her way to victory with allothogenic.
Jae Canetti (#264) gets a word that sounds so hard to pronounce that he responds with "Say what?" It means comprehensive and systemic outline of a science. It's origins are German. The word is Grundriss. And he is out! He's DONE! Sigh.
Round 5 is over.