Friday, June 4, 2010

AND IT'S ON TO THE NEXT ONE, ON TO THE NEXT ONE: Round 5 begins with 32 spellers; live coverage on The Worldwide Leader for those watching on TV, and for those bound to their computers, you can follow on ESPN3. We've already had some surprises; for instance, Tim Ruiter of Reston, VA, whom many expected to go all the way, spelled out in Round 4.

Thanks to Heather for hosting Round 4. I'm happy to be your host for Round 5 of the Bee; I participated in my one and only Bee in 1991, and witnessed one of the all-time great final duels, won by Joanne Lagatta.

13 boys, 19 girls remain. Let's get it on!

Esther Park starts us off with "foliocellosis". And she spells out, sadly.

Next up is Brandon Whitehead. His word is "trompillo", and he's yet another casualty. Two up, two down.

Now spelling: Jeremiah Cortez, with "pyroligneous". He survives to spell in Round 6.

Anvita Mishra gets "conjunto". She's safe as houses with that word.

Canada's lone representative will be next, as we take a commercial break. An interesting link from the comments, courtesy of Shonda Rimes: you can watch the Bee's greatest moments here, at the Huffington Post.

Laura Newcomb, of Toronto, gets "nematodiasis". She'll live to spell in Round 6. Next up, Brian King, the sole survivor from Colorado Springs, CO, home to Pikes' Peak. Unfortunately, he goes down with "caprifig".

29 spellers remain, as Grace Remmer of St. Augustine, FL spell. She spells "brachydactylous" correctly. We're still at 29 as we take another commercial break.

We're back. Boys have won 8 of the last 10 Bees, but the girls have a 44-41 edge all time. Julia Denniss of Dunwoody, GA is spelling. Will she survive? Her word is "intercolline"...and she's good to go.

"Genioglossal" nearly trips up a speller, but he's good to go. "Borborygmus" gets guessed at correctly by Gina Lu, who'll live on to spell in Round 6. "Bayesian" trips up the next speller, however.

A witty request by Sonia Schlesinger, whose birthday it is today - she asks for a gift of an easy word. Her word is "lorimer"...and sadly, she will not celebrate by winning the Bee.

"Fazenda" takes out Emily Keaton. We're down to 26 spellers remaining as we break for commercials.

Lanson Tang of Bethesda, MD is our speller as we come back to the Bee. "Gaminerie" doesn't prove to be a hurdle for him. Anja Beth Swoap of Edina, MN is next. She's gone, having spelled "icteritious" incorrectly.

Emma Johanningsmeier spells out on "dysautonomia". Her dad's response is poignant as the bell rings - he pumps his fist in regret. Emma's followed by the dynastic Hannah Evans - between Hannah and her brother Matt, they've been here seven times. Tragically, "lassi" isn't her drink of choice.

Now spelling: the ebullient Neetu Chandak. "Paravane" is her word - and sadly, she won't be moving on. She receives a standing ovation as she departs the stage. As we break for more commercials, we have 22 spellers left.

Arvind Mahankali is up. At 10 years of age, he's one of the youngest spellers remaning. "Metarteriole" is a struggle, but one he manages to overcome.

Anamika Veeramani is up, representing Cleveland, OH. While more spellers from Ohio have won the Bee than from any other state (8 in total), none have won since 1962. She's the highest returning finisher, having finished fifth last year. She name checks LeBron James in her intro video.

Her word is "mirin" - a sweet Japanese cooking wine. She'll be toasting her success, as she'll move on to Round 6. George Jose follows her - he's the oldest remaining speller. That said, he won't follow her to Round 6 - he misspells "Aufgabe". 21 spellers remain, as we take a break.

Joanna Ye is our speller as we return. She's stunned to find out that she's spelled "leguleian" correctly. Sukanya Roy follows her. She hopes to study international relations - Sukanya, if you read this, allow me to recommend the University of Denver.

However, she's not so fortunate with "hyleg". The stars aren't in her favor, there.

And now - Julianna Canabal Rodriguez of Puerto Rico. Gotta say, her word's kind of a gimme: she gets not just a Spanish word, but a traditional Puerto Rican delicacy in "bacalao". Say it with me: Si! Se! Puede! By the way, if Julianna manages to win, she would be only the second Puerto Rican to win the Bee. We go to break...

And we're back, with Sean Calhoun. "Siffleur" isn't his cup of tea, and the dreaded bell tolls for him. Aditya Chenudupaty breezily spells "genethliac". He tied for 12th in '09, and he's still in it.

Sarah Allen blew away her word last time; not so much this time, as she's much more deliberate in her approach. "Meperidine" is too much for her as a rookie speller - she just started in February of this year. She's the latest to fall in this round.

Just 17 spellers are left as we go to yet another commercial break.

WOW. Neetu's back! The judges reinstate her, based on an ambiguity in the word she received. Her mom protested the judges original decision, and they decided to overturn that decision and give Neetu another shot.

After that, the speller from Wisconsin spells "Bundestag". And we wrap up Round 5 with that. We're back up to 18 spellers with that turn of events.


  1. Shonda Rhimes12:02 PM

    Something to do during the commercial breaks? Watch the Bee's greatest moments, collected here:

  2. Marsha12:02 PM

    So much for my feeling about Esther Park.

  3. Christy in Philly12:08 PM

    Crap. I had Esther too!

  4. Charles12:10 PM

    For all the former spellers here: Would you have made the attempt to return to the Bee the following year if you could have?

    I was in eighth grade, so I had no second chance. I probably would have tried it again, though it's a long, tough road to get there. (I did get a little redemption 12 years later when I won a corporate spelling bee sponsored by our chamber of commerce to raise funds for literacy programs!)

  5. Marsha12:13 PM

    She thinks it's fun to spell vichyssoise, but doesn't want to eat it. Heh.

  6. @Charles: Like you, I was in eighth grade, so I was one-and-done. I probably would've tried again - it was an unforgettable experience, 

  7. Shonda Rhimes12:30 PM

    Man!  I was rooting for Sonia!

  8. isaac_spaceman12:35 PM

    The land of the rising sun?  Sets. 

  9. isaac_spaceman12:36 PM

    And I'm sorry for Emily, but the part of me that keeps reading it as "Elise Keaton" is just a little bit relieved.  Take comfort, Emily, in the fact that your children will make the right choices in the end.  Except for Tina Yothers.

  10. Heather P12:39 PM

    My only trip was when I was an eighth-grader, too, but I would have jumped at the chance to go back. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

  11. Marsha12:44 PM

    Hannah Evans gets LAH-see? Maybe I've just eaten in enough Indian restaurants to find that ridiculously easy.

  12. Heather P12:45 PM

    And both of my pool picks are out. Can't wait to see who wins.

  13. Marsha12:46 PM

    Well, guess it's not so easy. I suppose anything that's Sanskrit-to-Hindi is hard if you haven't seen it before.

  14. Marsha12:47 PM

    Who did you have?

  15. Marsha12:50 PM

    Aw, I love Neetu. So sad. Dropping like flies, they are.

  16. isaac_spaceman12:51 PM

    This is a massacre.  Stop the killing, Scripps!  Increase the peace! 

  17. I only regret that we have but one Canadian to oust from this competition.  (And with Chandak out, I need her to win to have a chance at the pool.)

  18. Heather P12:53 PM

    I had Hannah Evans and hometown guy Neel Mehta.

  19. Christy in Philly12:54 PM

    Both of my pics are down and I'm out of the pool. I guess that makes the fact that I can't watch the finals live a little bit easier. So bummed!

  20. Marsha12:54 PM

    A lot of the favorites are going down - the pool is going to be kind of a mess.

  21. Marsha12:57 PM

    So this year, you can do well by being a political history-obsessed foodie. Or a food-obsessed political historian.

  22. isaac_spaceman12:58 PM

    Or a food-history obsessed politician? 

  23. patricia12:59 PM

    Wow, Julia Deniss was my sentimental pick because she was my hometown girl.  Who knew Neetu would be out so quickly and Julia would be the one to pick up carry my flag in the fight to win the pool??

  24. isaac_spaceman1:00 PM

    Don't we stop after this round, since there are few enough spellers for prime time?  This is a lickety-split bee.

  25. Marsha1:00 PM

    Perhaps a political food. Ketchup would rock this contest.

  26. Bloodbath time!  Sad to see the veterans go, with Ruiter last round and now Neetu.  And with Hannah Evans out, there go my picks.  So now I'm rooting for my Queens, NY hometown boy Arvind!

  27. Mirin?  Okay, so I know my foodie words, but that's kinda easy.

  28. 15 through already; that's too many for primetime.  They'll go one more, but maybe dial back the intensity.

  29. Marsha1:08 PM

    Is there a rule about how many go to prime time, or do they just wing it to guesstimate a good-but-not-too-long evening show?

  30. Seriously, I can't emphasize how ridiculous that was. Juliana really should've just blown past that word. Maybe she was as stunned as I was.

  31. lindab1:14 PM

    but perhaps the speller before or after would have stumbled on it . . .

  32. Devin McCullen1:15 PM

    So, if she'd gotten that wrong, it would have been about the equivalent of Charlie Brown misspelling beagle?

  33. Marsha1:15 PM

    So is bacalao, if you're Puerto Rican! ;-) 

  34. Jenn.1:18 PM

    My two picks are still in it.  I was having second thoughts, that I should have gone for Tim Ruiter, as he's from Virginia, which makes him kinda local.  But it's working for me. 

    So, we have a max of 20 left, if I'm counting correctly.

  35. Yes. Seriously can't emphasize how ridiculous that was.

  36. Marsha1:20 PM

    Oh my goodness - Neetu's back!!!!

  37. Heather P1:23 PM

    Holy cow, I have never seen anything like that happen, aside from Andrew Flosdorf admitting that he misspelled "echolalia" in my year. Go Neetu!

  38. DadofTwins1:24 PM

    So will they credit Neetu with getting that one right, or will she have to spell another word to get out of Round 5?

  39. It looks like they're crediting her. 

  40. patricia1:26 PM

    Can someone explain the ambiguity with Neetu? 

  41. Marsha1:27 PM

    She asked whether it included the Greek root "peri" meaning around. They said yes, and she spelled it that way, but apparently it really doesn't contain that root.

  42. Marsha1:28 PM

    Yup - we're going to round six without her spelling again.

  43. patricia1:28 PM

    Got it.  Thanks!

  44. isaac_spaceman1:32 PM

    But she didn't spell it "perivane."  She spelled it "perovane" (per the Scripps site).  Experts -- is this a mistake one would make given the misinformation she received? 

  45. Vanessa H.1:33 PM

    Webster's free online dictionary says it is probably from the French para- warding off (as in parachute) and the English vane. I don't know how much of that would have been available to her, but it would sure help me. I'm glad she's back in though, because she's my remaining speller.

  46. sea0tter121:36 PM

    Yeah, that was my thought, too. She spelled it wrong based on what she was given anyway.

  47. Charles1:38 PM

    Perhaps--that "per" from the root she suggested is still in her spelling of the word. Not sure I'm an expert, though--I rarely asked about roots because you get just enough information to either help you a lot or totally mess you up.

  48. Amanda1:46 PM

    My cousin won the Bee in 1974, 3 years before I was born, so I grew up with a love for the Spelling Bee.  So glad to have this blog today as I'm at work and can't watch.  Thanks for all the updates!