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.