Wednesday, May 27, 2015

VICTOR SUTTON OF AUBURN, ALABAMA, COME ON DOWN!  Two rounds today, streaming online on ESPN3, and both are ding-and-you're-out.

There are two preliminary rounds today in which all 285 spellers will face the microphone, Dr. Jacques Bailly, and the cameras of ESPN3 online (in both "play along" and more aggressively chyroned versions). Spellers receive 3 points for each word spelled correctly today; add that number to yesterday's written round score, and the top up-to-50 spellers advance to the semifinals tomorrow.

You can follow along in a few places (in addition to here): the Bee website, and a few places on Twitter worth noting: @ScrippsBee, @PeterSokolowski @APBenNuckols, and hashtag #SpellingBee. And join our Hive on the Buzzworthy app --  the access code is 7EFA53.

[Last year, 223/281 of the spellers aced the first two rounds.]

8:27 am:  31/32 through so far, on words that all these kids should be acing.  No one's saying sayonara upon receiving ... that word, and our triumvirate of Spellers From  The North has survived. As for the one child who has erred so far, the story of how he got to National Harbor will break your heart.

8:47 am: 61/63.  Marieke Western is given 'maraca'.  Really? she asks Dr. Bailly. Yep. Nailed it. These are generally easy words -- flamboyant, philanthropy, samaritan, paradox. As usual, I hope the afternoon words are harder.

9:25 am: 115/118. "Zander Worm" sounds like the name of an extra in Starship Troopers, but he's through with 'bayou.' And our Yiddish Watch has begun: 'kishke.'

9:40 am: 137/141: Halftime. Dev Jaiswal asked Dr. Bailly, "Do you have an amusing sentence?" for 'bravura'. Also, he's wearing a bowtie. Awesome.

10:07 am: Two spellers have withdrawn from the competition.  (HT: Amy Goldstein.) We are not going to speculate as to why.  These are children. We wish them well.

10:33 am: 185/189. An eclectic mix of words for the erudite, as we accommodate an act of altruism with an AHN-tuh-rahzh plug.

11:35 am: The last 200+ spellers have been correct. I'm fine with that -- for one round. They all schlepped to National Harbor, often at considerable family expense, and deserve to have one shining moment each at the microphone. (One.)

11:40 am: Round's over.  279/283 advance to the afternoon.


  1. BeeFan8:11 AM

    So there are unsafe structures on the Bee stage! Now OSHA will shut down the Bee!

  2. BeeFan8:45 AM

    Is there any reason in this era for those neck placards? All the info about the spellers is shown on a screen in the room, and on graphics on TV.

  3. Amber Born8:53 AM

    Tradition, souvenir (I still have all of mine), and it makes you easy to identify from a distance. I guess. Also there are instructions on the back so you know where to stand when it's close to your turn, etc.

  4. BeeFan8:55 AM

    Isn't Doc Bailly supposed to mention if a word has a homonym? Llama has lama (a priest).

  5. Amber Born8:59 AM

    I bet that was just an oversight. They're definitely supposed to mention it.

  6. bristlesage9:47 AM

    I think we maybe just figured it out--the placards help them keep track of where the kids are supposed to sit. There was a whole, "Now get the ones under the chairs, put them on the chairs" thing as they're switching to the second half of this round.

  7. Marsha9:59 AM

    Damn you, Central Time Zone! I always miss the first spellers.

  8. Marsha10:16 AM

    Anvil? Really?

  9. Uncle Spike10:24 AM

    Yes, true, but strictly speaking, if all he said was...well, that word, Dylan could have spelled either "llama" or "lama" and breezed through to the third round. And I'm sure he considered it for a brief second.

  10. Marsha10:27 AM

    The ESPN feed is quite a bit behind both the official bee list and Twitter. Fine now, will be annoying later.

  11. Uncle Spike10:30 AM

    I have never, ever, EVER seen spellers withdraw from the competition. (For the record: 1987-1990, 1995-1996, 2012-2015 in their entireties.) Agreed...I hope they and their families are okay. In '89, a speller who sat two seats away from me showed up in DC for the first time with 15 minutes to spare before her first word. I was quite nervous for her. She and her family drove from WV for the bee only (no Bee Week activities), and apparently the traffic coming into DC that day was horrendous.

  12. Marsha10:37 AM

    Phoebe Jackson is a favorite so far - the confidence! The awesome hair!

  13. Adam C.11:01 AM

    I'm finding the Buzzworthy app to be - please, please forgive me for this - awfully buggy. Best I can tell, spellers earn extra points for correctly spelling more quickly. Notwithstanding the so-far overwhelming number of correct spellings, any idea how the ALOTT5MA hive is doing overall?

  14. Christy in Philly11:10 AM

    Having issues here as well. I can see the ALOTT5MA hive but I can't click it. Is this changing how we do the pool this year?

  15. Adam B.11:10 AM

    No. Our pool is our pool.

  16. victoria11:18 AM

    I thoroughly endorse croquet kid's enthusiasm.

  17. Genevieve11:45 AM

    Glad to hear it!

  18. Genevieve11:58 AM

    Very much enjoying following Amber on Twitter during the Bee! @hallalisylloge

  19. Genevieve2:21 PM

    How much do I love that wooden shoes are called klompen! Now that's some great onomatopoeia.