Friday, June 4, 2010

18 SPELLERS REMAIN...NO WAIT, 19 SPELLERS REMAIN...: Neetu Chandak is back in the game. The reinstatement of Neeta already changes this entire Bee for me. I thought the exchange between BBC Jacques Bailly and Neeta over “paravane” felt odd but what do I know? Apparently Neetu’s mom protested and here she is, back in the Bee, as we begin Round 6.

Right off the bat, we lose Jeremiah Cortez over “favilla”. After the Neetu excitement, I feel bad for him. We’re all hope springs, change comes, anything is possible…and then he’s out.

A word about these sentences BBC Jacques Bailly is using: they are cute in the extreme and not in a good way. Last year is the only Bee year I have missed so I don’t know what went on then, but when did someone get the idea that to punch up the jokiness of the sentences using the Bee words? Make it stop. Please make it stop.

We lose Anvita Mishra on “nephrocytary”, a word I never want to hear again because it sounds like something scary, a like a sharp instrument a doctor sticks into your nether regions. Then Laura Newcombe is still here after a long debate that led to the spelling of “scrannel”.

“Jehu” takes down Grace Remmer. “Phenazocine” knocks out Vaidya. We lose Aldrin on “chistka”. And now 5 of the first 6 spellers have been eliminated. It’s a blood bath!

Julia Deniss is taken from us, struck down by “poilu”, a soldier in the French army. Merriam Webster shows this word as deriving from poilu meaning hairy. Makes me wonder just how hairy those French soldiers got.

Finally! With “villicus”, Adrian Gunawan advances to prime time. And that’s what this round is really all about, is it not? Getting on to prime time. At least that’s what the announcers keep saying. As if this were not a competition for spelling greatness. As if this was some kind of pageant. This is spelling. This is hard core. They’d spell with or without the cameras.

We lose Gina Lu on “Guarnerius” which is both a fancy violin and the name of the family that made the fancy violin.

Lanson Tang (that name is good, it rolls off the tongue) spells “rhabdomyoma” like it was “cat” and strides back to his seat. He’s in the finals. Elizabeth Platz is through on “matsutake.”

Neetu is back up to spell. “Apogalacteum” takes her down -- AGAIN. It’s over for her. It’s done. Second chance didn’t mean anything changed.

10 year old Arvin Mahankali might be the most adorable little kid in the competition. He’s tiny and cute and talks with a 40 year old’s weariness in a baby’s voice. Love him. And...he's gone.

Will none of my favorites survive?

WHAT? They’re shutting it down! Mid-round! Every speller on the stage is now a championship finalist! What?

I think the decision was made because we were losing spellers left and right. The blood bath was rolling on and there was a serious concern that we would not have any spellers left for the finals.

10 Spellers in the Finals. 5 boys, 5 girls.

70 comments:

  1. Where are they getting 19 spellers? I count 18 left with Neetu's astonishing return.

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  2. No access to a tv here at work, so can you fill me in on what the exchange was about paravane?

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  3. Oops, just caught the explanation at the end of the last post.  Thanks.

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  4. In the process of asking what the root of "paravane" was, the pronouncer gave her the wrong root apparently. Her mom filed a protest, and after review, the judges decided to allow her back into the competition.

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  5. lindab1:30 PM

    Seems like Neetu doesn't have to spell another word correctly to replace paravane.  That's odd.

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  6. The whole exchange was odd, starting with the original spelling attempt.

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  7. patricia1:32 PM

    Yeah, it would seem to me that she should spell again to get through to round 6.

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  8. O CANADA! Laura Newcomb survives. 

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  9. Marsha1:34 PM

    What a tough word. No origins, no help at all.

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  10. Marsha1:34 PM

    Awww....adorable Grace is gone.

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  11. Jenn.1:35 PM

    If they gave her the wrong info, then I'm perfectly fine with them giving her another chance, but it does seem strange that she does not have to spell another word (with the right info).

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  12. Jenn.1:36 PM

    Tough round so far.  Started with 19, and already down three after four spellers.

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  13. As much as I'd like Puerto Rico's Julianna Canabal Rodriguez to win, I can't shake the feeling of dread that she's going to get a doozy of a word this round.

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  14. Marsha1:39 PM

    5 of the first 6 gone. Only Newcombe got her word right.

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  15. 5 of the first 6 down already. Don't think we're going to need a seventh round in the afternoon, at the rate this is going. Just brutal.

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  16. Joseph J. Finn1:40 PM

    "nephrocyte In most Arthropoda, one of the large phagocytic cells that accumulate waste products."

    Ew.

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  17. And it's 6 of 7. What a tough break. Down to 13 spellers.

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  18. lisased1:42 PM

    The cute sentences are distracting me as well. They remind me of some of the sentences included in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee".

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  19. Charles1:44 PM

    It's so tough to be a speller who steps to the microphone after several in a row have fallen!

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  20. FINALLY. So far, it's a two-speller final.

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  21. Deanna1:44 PM

    Part of what makes the sentences so distracting is hearing Dr. Bailly say things like "Poker Face." 

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  22. patricia1:45 PM

    Aw, I'm sad that Julia Deniss is out.

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  23. Meghan (a different one)1:45 PM

    Um...apologies for mooning you all with my Bee ignorance, but what happens if they end up with a winner at the end of this round? Or too few kids to make primetime interesting? 

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  24. Disgusting, but an easy word.  "Nephro-" is a root for "of or pertaining to the kidneys," and "cyte" is "cell," so easy to put together from roots.

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  25. Charles1:46 PM

    I agree about the sentences. They don't seem as informative or helpful as they were in previous years.

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  26. Jenn.1:46 PM

    Dammit!  Julia's out.  Well, at least Georgia made it to the fifth round, right?

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  27. Eh, if it's just two or three spellers, it's still interesting - you'd market it as a "duel" or something.

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  28. lisased1:52 PM

    Does anyone else find it amusing that the producers told us that Gina Liu wants to meet Terry Pratchett, and then they spelled Pratchett's name incorrectly?

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  29. So far, three spellers have booked a spot in the finals: Laura Newcombe, Landon Tang, Adrian Gunawan. And Elizabeth Platz makes it a fantastic foursome.

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  30. Is Saryn Hooks (hechsher) the last person to have been reinstated from a protest?

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  31. Neetu's up. Can she book a spot in the finals?

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  32. Matsutake: A foodie word that grownups can get.

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  33. Erin Andrews will just dance for the remainder of the time, perhaps?  That's been proven to bring in ratings.

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  34. No, not at all. "Apogalacteum" trips her up, just as she was feeling triumphant.

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  35. So far, only 4 spellers have booked a spot in the finals: Laura Newcombe, Adrian Gunawan, Lanson Tang, and Elizabeth Platz.

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  36. patricia1:58 PM

    Neetu!  And I'm out of the pool.  Might have to root for the Canadian now.

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  37. lisased1:58 PM

    Does anyone else find it amusing that the producers told us that Gina Liu wants to meet Terry Pratchett, and then they spelled Pratchett's name incorrectly?

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  38. So far, three spellers have booked a spot in the finals: Laura Newcombe, Landon Tang, Adrian Gunawan. And Elizabeth Platz makes it a fantastic foursome.

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  39. Vanessa H.1:58 PM

    Elizabeth Platz is mocking me. I went with the local speller in my current hometown and did not choose her. And she is rocking the bee!

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  40. isaac_spaceman1:58 PM

    We are required to spell it "Elizabethplatz." 

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  41. patricia2:00 PM

    Neetu!  And I'm out of the pool.  I might be rooting for the Canadian tonight.

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  42. I have to say, this is a profoundly unfair decision. If I were one of the spellers who'd spelled out, I'd be furious. You're essentially passing on six spellers without having had to spell.

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  43. Bob Loblaw2:01 PM

    Well, that was anticlimactic.

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  44. Meghan (a different one)2:01 PM

    Holy crap they stopped the round!

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  45. And that's it.  They're cutting it off mid-round 6 and letting the remaining ten kids proceed to primetime.

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  46. patricia2:02 PM

    Yeah, Not Okay.  Just really unfair.

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  47. Well, it depends: will they receive words just as hard as others in round six for their first word, or do they too get shifted to the "we've got two hours to fill, make the first round or two easier" list which we've seen?

    But, yes, it is unfair from a fame/honor perspective not to get to prime time just for having been raised in an an alphabetically advanced state.

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  48. DadofTwins2:03 PM

    So is this just an extended timeout with Round 6 picking up later, or will they just advance everybody into Round 7?

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  49. Vanessa H.2:04 PM

    Thanks for the correction. I clearly wasn't thinking.

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  50. Are they just stopping round 6 mid-round and restarting it tonight in primetime or do all of the 10 remaining (4 who had spelled correctly in Round 6 and 6 who had not spelled yet) get an even footing tonight?

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  51. Seriously - you had 4 spellers, so you had enough for a final. While I'm normally opposed to parental challenges, if I were a parent, I'd be filing a protest. This is the kind of decision that's dictated by programming, not fairness.

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  52. Charles2:05 PM

    I wonder if they'll start primetime with the end of round 6? If they do begin it with round 7, then yes, that is unfair because final placement and cash prizes depend upon which round you reach.

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  53. I have to believe it's the former.

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  54. Marsha2:05 PM

    Completely agree on fairness. It is clearly in the rules, however.

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  55. isaac_spaceman2:06 PM

    I'd be furious too, but there is some precedent for sending through spellers who didn't have to spell -- see Neetu Chandak.  Does it seem like this year's bee just kind of rolled out of bed groggy and decided to make it up as it went along? 

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  56. Marsha2:06 PM

    "The semifinals consist of rounds of oral spelling and will likely be concurrent with the competition's live broadcast on ESPN on Friday, June 4. If the ESPN broadcast concludes during a semifinal round, spellers who have not spelled in the round will advance to the championship finals for the conclusion of the last semifinals round."

    So they will basically resume Round 6 in prime time.

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  57. They'll still have to spell in this round.  It'll just take place when many more people are watching.

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  58. I think that's the question. From a fairness perspective, you have to resume round 6. It seems to me, though, that that's not what's occurring - they're dubbing all of the remaining spellers, both the four who spelled successfully and the ones who didn't spell (including my favorite from PR) championship finalists. 

    Like I said - unfair.

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  59. lisased2:08 PM

    Apologies for the double post.

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  60. Marsha2:09 PM

    It seems, from the rule, that the only thing that's happening is that they're showing the end of Round 6 in prime time. Those remaining 6 spellers will not be considered "finalists" nor wil they get a free pass. It's annoying from a fame-and-publicity perspective, but it's not really "unfair."

    And the 4 who passed through should be pretty happy that these 6 have to spend the rest of the day stressed out about Round 6 and they already know they're through.

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  61. Marsha2:09 PM

    Prime time will begin with the end of Round 6, according to the rules.

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  62. isaac_spaceman2:10 PM

    I sure hope they start Prime Time with the people who hadn't yet spelled in Round 6, and maybe they can just continue calling it Round 6 until they roll around to Newcombe, who will start Round 7. 

    Incidentally, kids aged 9-14 have a pretty developed sense of fairness and a pretty underdeveloped ability to Put It All In Perspective.  If we're upset at the decision here, I imagine there is going to be some serious outrage at the hotel. 

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  63. Marsha2:11 PM

    If they actually dub all these kids "finalists" that is indeed unfair.

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  64. Marsha2:14 PM

    the official rules:

    "The semifinals consist of rounds of oral spelling and will likely be concurrent with the competition's live broadcast on ESPN on Friday, June 4. If the ESPN broadcast concludes during a semifinal round, spellers who have not spelled in the round will advance to the championship finals for the conclusion of the last semifinals round.

    The championship finals consist of rounds of oral spelling and are concurrent with the competition's live broadcast on ABC on Friday, June 4, unless the ABC broadcast begins in a round that began during the semifinals. The championship finals will not officially commence until the last semifinals round has concluded, and prizes will be awarded accordingly."

    Plain meaning - tonight's broadcast will include both the semifinals and the finals. We start with the end of Round 6 - semifinals. Round 7 will begin the finals.

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  65. Thanks Marsha.  That makes sense to me from a "fairness" perspective

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  66. Mary Ann G2:18 PM

    Very odd, but I have to agree with Adam.  As long as they continue Round 6 where they left off, with the same difficult word list, then it's fair.  If, however, they start this evening with a very simple list, then that's not fair.  I've never seen this before.  Will be interesting to see how this cliffhanger plays out. 

    Andrew is a fav.  He's had a rigorous year of study with the same brilliant Linguistics professor that my daughter studied with, so he is very, very prepared. We know luck always plays a role, but he's had the coaching and preparation.  Juliana is great too. I dont know the other kids, but they are all GREAT!!!!  So proud of each of them. I didn't think I'd get so drawn in again, but I did, complete with racing heartbeat, butterflies, etc.

    Thanks guys, see you tonight!

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  67. That's fair. Annoying, but fair.

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  68. Jenn.2:21 PM

    I do love dealing with this issue with a pack of lawyers.  Reading rules FTW.

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  69. Mary Ann G2:23 PM

    Okay, that makes sense then.  Tonight's broadcast will beging with the resumption of Round 6 semi-finals.  Whoever makes it through will advance to the finals of Round 7. 

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