Thursday, May 30, 2013

SPELLING BEE, ROUND 6:  32 Spellers remain.  Here we go....

3:52 pm  Isabel Cholbi steps up to the microphone.  Looks at Jacques Bailly.  And says "We meet again."

Man, these kids are great.

Isabel Cholbi's word is ecphonesis.  She gets it wrong!  Oh no!  Isabel is gone!

And then we lose Audrey Bantug too.  Eva Kitlen seems to be having a sort of panic attack about the word cabotinage.  And she's gone too.  First three spellers gone quickly.

Himanvi Kopuri in working on pancratiast and she goes down too!

The Bee is a bloodbath.  The words in this round feel exponentially harder than they did in the last round.  The spellers seated look worried.

Anuk Dayaprema gets dolabriform.  And he spells it right.  Whew.  I was starting to think dark thoughts...


Relieved to see that Grace Remmer made it through.  Teneramente is a musical term.

I feel like we know these kids well enough to go first names on them, don't you?  Good.

Christal (laocoon) and Nikitha (peristalith) both make it through.  But we lose five-timer Rachael Cundey on calotte.  She placed 10th last year and five times makes Rachael a rock star no matter what she places this year.  Bye, Rachael!

We lose Alia on isopiestic.  It means "marked by or indicating equal pressure" but I've never heard of it before.  Alia goes out with a "thank you" and a smile.

That's something to note.  It feels now, more than ever, that these kids exit the stage so gracefully.  There's not a lot of devastation, not a lot of tears or drama.  Which makes me feel like the Bee and the parents are doing a good job of managing the kids' expectations.  I'm sure there are emotions, I'm sure some kids cry and I don't think that is wrong.  But they don't seem to look as if the world has come to an end and that is a good thing, isn't it?  Being competitive is definitely good; learning how to lose in the midst of competition is also good.

While I was busy giving my opinion on things I really know nothing about, we lost 1 other speller - Lucas.  But Pranav spelled dasyphyllous to move on.  And Margaret correctly spelled rabboni  and Vanya sailed by on bilboquet.

Emily Keaton is gone!  Five timer Emily is out!  I almost missed it.  She was so confident that she spelled her word quickly and then looked shocked at the bell ding.  Felled by olecranon.  Which is your funny bone -- in case you were wondering.

Both 5 timers are gone.  11 of the last 18 spellers have been eliminated.  Wow.

Caleb is down!  The Southerner is down!  Cyanope was his word.  And when he spelled it wrong and heard the ding, he sighed.  When Jacques Bailly told him how the word was supposed to be spelled, he said, "Oh you gotta be kidding me!"

I want Amber Born to be 25 years older so she can say snarky things at my dinner parties.  She's hilarious.  And smart.  She pulls the spelling of malacophilous out of who knows where and celebrates as the crowd cheers.  They love her.  So do her fellow spellers.  So does every single person watching.

Quietly impressive is first-timer Neha who spells sciapodus like its no big deal and sits back down.  It means having big feet.

I love Kuvam's mom's reaction.  She's so stressed out that she covers her face while he spells and when he completes the word, this look of utter pain and and pride and fear and love washes over her.  It's like it's killing her being here watching this.    I don't know how she does it.

We just lost tiny swaggering Gokul on epichoric.  Sigh.  I was a fan.  Maybe next year...

I think Ryan is adorable.  He's very soft spoken and his favorite book is A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  He has a quiet confidence that makes you stop and just watch him spell.  His word is telmatology.   He gets it right.

Sriram not only is four-timer but he also gave a TED talk about being a Bee competitor.  His word is surtout.  It's a man's frock coat.

Arvind is up!  His word is erethic.  He's all Michael Jordan-y about his spelling.  He just stands there and then all the sudden...BAM...he's spelling above our heads in this casual way.

Joseph D easily spells aquiclude and heads back to his seat.  We lose first-timer Aditya on venenate.  Hannah stays alive by making what appears to be a fantastic educated guess on hesped.

Jonathan C gets pergameneous which means resembling parchment.  Sadly, he goes down.

Chetan is up.  The announcers pronounce his name wrong.  As one would expect, Jacques Bailly pronounces is perfectly.  Chetan's word is capitatim.

Shobha get bourree which means a ballet combination that consists of small crossing steps.  The French gets her and she spells it wrong.  Hopefully we will see her next year.

Syamantak gets the word lallation -- a word which means a bunch of stuff about the letter L that I won't write here.  He spells it correctly.

Vismaya is given the word agelicism which means the doctrine that holds that society completely determines the thoughts, feelings, and acts of individuals.

Round 6 is over.  18 spellers remain.   On a side note:  Dr Bailly's sentences have been hilariously odd.

In a few moments, they're going to go on stage and announce who the finalists are.  It's strange and different but it is the way it happens now.  It feels less exciting than the old way, doesn't it?

They are listing finalists.  In what feels like a crazy random order.  I am not enjoying this.  It's stressful. Poor kids!

Okay, this is not cool.  Not to me.   The finalists have been named.  And there are these other great spellers sitting on the stage who haven't been named.

I miss the purity of spelling it out.  Of spelling your way into the finals.  On that stage, in front of that crowd, before your peers, microphone on,  Jacques Bailly before you.  THAT is how you get into the finals.

I feel cheated.

I wonder how those kids feel.

That said, I appreciate the efforts of the Bee to streamline the process.  I just don't know if this is the way.   What do you all think?

I look forward to the finals tonight.

112 comments:

  1. Marsha3:53 PM

    Curious to see how much harder it's going to be this round. I suspect they'd like to have relatively few people spell all live words correctly and yet not go to the finals, though I do agree with Adam that it's fairer this way.

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  2. Adam C.3:53 PM

    Well, that was harder.

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  3. Adam C.3:55 PM

    And so was that. Bad vibes for this round...

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  4. Some kids need a hug when they get out. Isabel goes with the fist bump. I like that kid.

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  5. Adam B.3:57 PM

    Cabotinage. It just happens to be the most obvious guess if you know nothing (like me.

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  6. Adam C.3:57 PM

    Oh no....

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  7. Marsha3:57 PM

    And here goes the bloodbath.

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  8. bristlesage3:58 PM

    Yeah. This just got CRAZY.

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  9. Adam B.3:58 PM

    Bloodbath. It is fairer to have them largely judged on the same (written) words, as long as the live words are fairly distributed.

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  10. Emily3:59 PM

    No!!! Crap. I'm glad to hear Isabel took it well; she's bad ass. I'm glad I picked her.

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  11. Marsha3:59 PM

    Which they weren't in the last round. I suppose if the eliminate everyone in this round that would indicate fair distribution.....

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  12. Adam C.4:00 PM

    Man oh man oh man.

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  13. Fred not fred4:00 PM

    This is brutal.

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  14. Marsha4:00 PM

    Bee historians - have we ever seen a round start this painfully?

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  15. Adam B.4:01 PM

    Remember the Canadian massacre.

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  16. Adam C.4:01 PM

    Anuk breaks the streak, finally.

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  17. All four of those girls must have that teeny tiny sliver of hope that the rest are going to fall too and everyone will be back.

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  18. Marsha4:01 PM

    This seems worse.

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  19. All four of those girls must have that teeny tiny sliver of hope that the rest are going to fall too and everyone will be back.

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  20. All four of those girls must have that teeny tiny sliver of hope that the rest are going to fall too and everyone will be back.

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  21. bristlesage4:02 PM

    With the most figure-outable word so far, I think.

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  22. Edit: must have HAD. Anuk takes care of that.

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  23. Adam B.4:04 PM

    Round 6's individual vocabulary test now online -- http://public.spellingbee.com/public/results/2013/round_results_vocab/summary/6 -- each correct is a +3 for the speller. Some are a bit easier -- paroxysm, pedagogy.

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  24. Do we think missing a vocab word means automatic elimination before the finals? I would think so.

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  25. Marsha4:07 PM

    Christal's little sis is adorable! Look at those eyes! (And I love that Christal likes her favorite ballerina because she does awesome jumps and is a nice person.)

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  26. bristlesage4:08 PM

    "Laocoon", I think the first one this round where I got it based on prior knowledge.

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  27. The little siblings this year are out of control cute.

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  28. I suspect Christal and Legolas are related.

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  29. Adam B.4:09 PM

    I would think falling three points back is insurmountable.

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  30. Marsha4:10 PM

    RACHEL!

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  31. oh man. This is excruciating.

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  32. Awww, Rachel. So sorry. You are such a great speller!

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  33. Genevieve4:13 PM

    Oh, I was hoping for great things for Rachel! I'm sure she has them in her future, though.

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  34. STILL with the fainting jokes? I do kinda like the spoof of the AT&T commercials though.

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  35. Dr. Bailley is a remarkably good stand-in for the AT&T guy

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  36. Marsha4:17 PM

    I want my kids to do the Bee because I want them to get to know these kids.

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  37. Aww, Rachael! You are awesome! How many kids can say they are 5-timers? What dedication!

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  38. I want to have kids so that they can do the Bee to meet these kids.

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  39. I'm Jewish and I probably would not have gotten rabboni. Wow.

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  40. julen4:18 PM

    Gotta love a kid who can sleep whilst being clapped energetically around.

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  41. Emily4:19 PM

    I want your kids to do the Bee so we can cheer them on here.

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  42. Like Margaret's little brother, sleeping through the clapping. adorable!

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  43. Genevieve4:19 PM

    But the vocab words look like they each got a different word, from the way Scripps has it on the website?

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  44. Marsha4:21 PM

    I just love Emily Keaton. Love her accent, love her dedication and her competitive spirit, love her quirky sense of humor. Love that the bee -colored outfit is clearly intentional. Love that she thinks farfel is funny-sounding (it is).

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  45. Marsha4:21 PM

    Oh no!!!!

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  46. Emily4:22 PM

    Emily! Another painful loss. Yes, Marsha, she has the best accent.

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  47. Marsha4:23 PM

    Can you imagine the chaos that will erupt here when one of our kids is actually in this thing? Which seems fairly likely to happen...someday.....

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  48. Adam B.4:25 PM

    Two parts: a 24-question test (half-spelling, half vocab) that everyone got -- http://public.spellingbee.com/public/results/graded_words.php?reportFormat=1&round=4 -- plus two additional vocab words unique to each speller.

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  49. Marsha4:26 PM

    Sorry for misspelling your name, Rachael - blame it on speed and grief.

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  50. Caleb is going to rock at life.

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  51. Marsha4:34 PM

    Shonda, how old does Amber need to be to join your writing staff?

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  52. Emma looks so much like Saoirse Ronan to me. Sorry to see her go down.

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  53. Marsha4:36 PM

    We're having H trouble today - putting it in where it doesn't belong, not putting it where it does.

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  54. Emily4:38 PM

    I'm out for the rest of the night (seeing Whedon's "Much Ado" at BAM with a Q&A with him after). Will check in later. Happy Bee, all!!

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  55. Adam B.4:38 PM

    With ten spellers already through, there's no chance of anyone who erred this round being resurrected. Once they get beyond 12, the computer test will provide the cutoff.

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  56. Marsha4:39 PM

    We've lost more than half the spellers so far this round - that's kinda nuts. But they already have ten through without a live mistake, so we're almost certainly going to have some people who did so get cut off by the computer test.

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  57. Marsha4:39 PM

    OOH! Best reason ever to miss the Bee. Have fun! Report back!

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  58. Marsha4:50 PM

    Usually I know the Jewish words. I have never heard Hanna's word before.

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  59. Adam B.4:51 PM

    Neither had I. This wasn't "oh, there's no one spelling for that," but rather "wtf is that term?"

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  60. Marsha4:52 PM

    Right. I can't even begin to count the Jewish funerals I've been to (unfortunately) and I have never in my life heard that word. At least it is spelled exactly like it sounds, because with Hebrew, there's every chance it wouldn't be.

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  61. Shoba Dasari has my favorite name in the competition. Every time she comes up I find myself repeating it. So lovely.

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  62. I imagine Christal is wishing she got bourree as a word.

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  63. Marsha4:59 PM

    Bourree is a word I actually know because of the one by Bach. If I didn't know it, I'd never have guessed it.

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  64. Adam B.5:04 PM

    Given how quickly they fell this round, it'd be easy for another round at this point to take the field from 18 down to 8-9 instead of the 10-12 we'll get for primetime.

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  65. Marsha5:04 PM

    See, this is the part that stinks. 18 kids up there, all of whom were perfect at the mic. At least 6 don't move on. Yes, it's fair, but it's painful.

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  66. This is not cool. I get how it could be more fair, but looking at those kids up there who have survived this brutal round, this is rough.

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  67. 14 of the 18 have been perfect on the mike and on their 3-point vocab words. No more than 12 advance.

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  68. I wish that number had just a smidge more flexibility to it.

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  69. Adam C.5:09 PM

    Oy, this is agonizing.

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  70. julen5:09 PM

    I'd rather have the kids looking for their names on a list than this faux-crowning.

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  71. I'm more nervous than I was during any point of round 6. This is almost heartbreaking.

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  72. Christy in Philly5:09 PM

    What in the world are they using for order?? I'd be FREAKING if I was one of the kids!

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  73. Genevieve5:10 PM

    It seems like 18 would be a fine number for primetime. They don't want to end up like the year when too many kids fell in primetime and the commentators had to vamp.

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  74. Christy in Philly5:10 PM

    The list is up: http://public.spellingbee.com/public/results/2013/finishers/html

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  75. Genevieve5:10 PM

    Absolutely. Is there any fair way to cut down that 14 to 12? Why not just go with the 12?

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  76. Marsha5:13 PM

    So Symantak is the only first-timer in the finals? Is that right?

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  77. Adam B.5:13 PM

    It'd be a long night, especially given that they repeat all the promo pieces on the kids the first time around. And no one wants to see a primetime in which lots of kids go down quickly; give them at least one round in which most will shine.

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  78. Adam B.5:14 PM

    There's 24 words they all had to spell/define last night. I think that's actually a really fair way to sort it out, compared to the randomness of your round 5/6 draw. Just not as dramatic.

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  79. Adam C.5:16 PM

    May I be the first to crow about both of my pool picks (Vanya & Vismaya) making it to the Finals?

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  80. Christy in Philly5:18 PM

    I haven't been following the rule changes as closely as I should but that felt incredibly unfair, stressful and sad. Streamlining is good and I LOVE watching the Bee. But have we sacrificed the spirit of the Bee in an effort to control the entertainment aspect?

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  81. I'll be second! Arvind was of course an easy pick for me, but I was so very impressed with Vismaya on that last word. So many pitfalls but she didn't panic and thought it out.

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  82. julen5:19 PM

    May I be the first to caw about both of my pool picks being out? (Sophia and Emily) We're going to have to vote in this house for a sentimental favorite to root on tonight.

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  83. Sara Miller5:22 PM

    Anybody know if any kids got a perfect score on the Semifinals computer test (not the Prelims computer test)? If so, who?

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  84. Genevieve5:24 PM

    Yeah . . . but you know, if a baseball game goes long, they still show it all. I wish they could do that.

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  85. Adam C.5:25 PM

    Just did a very quick and dirty run through the pool post comments -- looks like there were 11 who picked two finalists.

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  86. Genevieve5:25 PM

    I'm out for the rest of the night for play rehearsal, will check back here as soon as I get done - Bee will either be over or almost over but I'm so glad I'll have the play-by-play here.

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  87. Genevieve5:27 PM

    Mine are both in! But I was lucky to pick first so I got Vanya and Arvind. Still I would've been really bummed if either didn't make finals, because I like them so much. Looking forward to watching Vismaya and the others on DVR now that I've heard such good things from y'all who have been watching live.

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  88. Genevieve5:28 PM

    Me too.

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  89. Genevieve5:29 PM

    I have heard it - not sure when, but it rings a bell.

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  90. Marsha5:31 PM

    Totally agree, but given how lucky I feel to even have this thing on TV at all - on a SPORTS network - I'll take what I can get.

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  91. Ben, who were the two who were perfect on the mike/3-point vocab but didn't reach the finals?

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  92. Adam B.5:32 PM

    Easiest way to do it would be to eliminate primetime and just have them go all afternoon long until there's one kid left. The only reason to have a cutoff is if you're doing a separate "finals" broadcast.

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  93. Genevieve5:35 PM

    So the test felled Anuk, Margaret, Neha, Kuvam, Ryan, Joseph, and Hannah. Did any of them not miss any words that were posted on the website? I don't think Anuk did. (I was rooting for him to get to finals - pretty cool to be the Defense/State Dept. representative, and given how much those kids travel, they get exposed to a lot of languages.)

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  94. Genevieve5:37 PM

    What if they start later in the afternoon? Then they could just go all afternoon/evening until one kid left. Maybe starting at 3 or 4 or 5? and there'd still be a bunch in primetime.

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  95. Adam B.5:43 PM

    Kuvam got "ebullient" wrong in his round 5 multiple-choice vocab; Joseph "parsimonious." Neha erred on "fractography" in round 6, Hannah "filiferous."

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  96. Genevieve5:49 PM

    Of those, Anuk, Margaret, Kuvam, Ryan and Joseph got all the vocab words right that Scripps posted on the website for rounds 5 and 6 (and 2 and 3). So does that mean those five were knocked out by the Semifinals test? At least everyone got the same words for that. But I would've much rather seen these 16 in primetime (or starting at 6 p.m. for that matter - couldn't they do that?)

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  97. Adam B.5:53 PM

    We may be looking at different things?

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  98. Heather Powell5:53 PM

    Whew, work has caused me to miss so much of this, and I fell asleep before the pool opened last night! Nonetheless, I will be watching tonight. Thanks for the excellent coverage, as usual, to catch me up1

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  99. Sara Miller5:57 PM

    Just curious, how did you find out who got their 3-point vocab words right?

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  100. There were 3: Anuk Dayaprema, Margaret Peterson, and Ryan Devanandan.

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  101. Oh right, I keep forgetting there are 11 finalists, not 12. Thank you!

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  102. Genevieve6:01 PM

    Must be. Wonder why? Thought I was clicking on everything that was there. OK, so Kuvam and Joseph are fairly out as well. It does not seem fair, though, that they couldn't keep Anuk, Margaret and Ryan in primetime.

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  103. Genevieve6:06 PM

    Yes, we must be. Not sure why. OK, so Kuvam and Joseph are out for vocab. I really wish Anuk, Margaret, and Ryan would be kept in for primetime. This way doesn't feel right.

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  104. Links to spelling and 3-point vocab results by round: http://public.spellingbee.com/public/results/round_results

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  105. Uncle Spike6:12 PM

    I won't be posting anything new, but man, in real life, announcing the finalists was so painful to watch in person. We're applauding the finalists in the center of the stage, while the semifinalists who didn't qualify remained sitting on the sides, all looking glum and crestfallen, and not able to leave the stage or visit the sorely missed comfort room. I felt a pit in my stomach, and had the hardest time applauding, let alone giving a standing O. Now, I believe, is when true backlash will begin.

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  106. Genevieve6:13 PM

    I hope Bee folks listen to feedback and change it for next year.

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  107. I did not like this at all. I just finished watching it and it was painful. I have been at the Bee and kept imagining how it must have been to be there for this. So sad for those kids. Hope they are doing something for them. The Olympic medals were hard to take.

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  108. What I don't like about this is that the reason the cut-off is at 11 is because there was a tie for 12th (otherwise the 12th-place person would be in the finals). So for those two (or more) kids, they're out not solely because of their own performances, but partly as a result of somebody else's. Yes, I know that's how the semifinals make their cuts too. But at this level, it seems like you should stand or fall on your own merits.


    In golf, they they take the top-however-many for their weekend cut, plus anybody who is tied with the worst-scoring player. They don't move the line to make sure no more than X advance. I think if the Bee would say, "We're taking anybody who is tied for 40th or better" into the semis and "anybody tied for 12th (or 10th or whatever ESPN tells them they want) or better" into the finals, it would be easier to stomach.


    And no, I'm not just saying this because I had Anuk in the pool. That has nothing to do with it. I promise ;-)

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  109. Sara Miller6:27 PM

    What would be the best way to inform spellers of the Semifinalists and Finalists? (Yes, apparently there are 2 Sara Millers posting here... :)

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  110. BeeFan6:38 PM

    I already said this yesterday, even before the "crowning", but I don't like this point system and eliminating 6 of 18 who missed no (on-stage) words.


    So how could we guarantee x (let's say 10 for the sake of argument) spellers for prime-time without the round-splitting that had everyone up in arms back in 2010?


    And even eliminate computer (or written) tests altogether.


    We had 281 spellers this year. Why not split them into 10 groups (9 groups of 28, one of 29) and spell down each group to produce a finalist? The early rounds can be simultaneous. This will mean some extra pronouncers (not necessarily 10, they don't ALL have to go at once). When each group is down to, say, four spellers, they're ready for Thursday afternoon with 40 spellers.


    Spell down group A - Vanya wins and is a finalist; now Group B - yay, Chetan; Group C- Amazing Grace! And so forth.


    The only point system necessary would be for seeding based on past performance, so we don't end up with four top 10ers from the previous year in the same group.


    10 finalists exactly, guaranteed or your money back.

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  111. Adam B.6:51 PM

    Can you compile in full? Because I'm lazy. Also look for anyone who has one remaining finalist who is unique to that person.

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  112. Adam C.7:54 PM

    Sorry, I left it at the office - now in traffic on way home.

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