A question, concern, moment of confusion: There’s a complicated scoring system too hard to explain here (okay not really: Kids take a written exam worth up to 25 points, Round 2 is worth 3 points and Round 3 is worth 3 points making the highest score a kid can get 31 points) but what concerns me is the following rule as quoted from the Bee website: “Immediately after the conclusion of Round Three, Bee officials determine Semifinalists on the basis of points earned in the Preliminaries. No more than 50 spellers will be named Semifinalists.” But what if more than 50 Spellers get a high score? Has it ever happened? What do they do then?
Right now the Californians are spelling. I’m a bit saddened to see that Emma Finch of Salinas, CA could not spell the simple Sound of Music word “edelweiss” – a mistake that will likely haunt her for years to come.
updated: Well, Destiny Su'a knows her cedilla-marked Indianapolis Colts WRs. Jeremiah Cortez was not shang-HIDE by his word, and Anvita Mishra can take her buh-ROOK-see for a walk this afternoon. Thus far, seems like a slightly tougher round. Three words that anyone should be able to get -- those two and day-TAHNT -- but the rest, yeah, you better have studied. ESPN3 has live video here. (Adam)
Update 1:52 pm: Let’s chat about the foreigners. Or to be more precise, the contestants coming in from foreign countries. I’ve already discussed Owayne from Jamaica. But there is also Sonia Ann Schlesinger who came in from Tokyo, Japan. According to her bio, last year when she competed, she was living in DC. Which means that not even a move halfway around the world could deter her Bee-training. She’s adorably cute and I am already a fan. We also have Destiny Su’a from American Samoa, Yelena Persaud from the Bahamas, Jacky Kun Qiao from China, Alyssa Bonisa who is listed as being from “Europe” – which is like saying Vanya Shivashankar (my personal favorite and yeah I’m biased because she was adorably cute when we met her at age 5 as the sister of a champion and also because she is the competition’s youngest speller this year at age 8) is from North America. There’s Tom Winter from New Zealand and Hyunsoo Kim from South Korea, Carmi Thomas from the Virgin Islands and oh yes, the lone Canadian Laura Newcombe. Are there no Bees in their countries, no place for them to hoist a trophy and let their geek flag fly? Is that why they come? Whatever the reason, I always welcome them. And now I have to go look up the definition for "zeitgeber" which sounds vaguely dirty but I'm sure is not. (Shonda)
Update 2:47 pm: Ooooh, THAT is what they look like! (Thanks to my trusty assistant Miguel who is clearly far smarter than I am, I finally have ESPN 3 going on in my office.) Can I just pause to say that Olivia Jacobs from Martha’s Vineyard is the Julia Roberts of the competition? Terribly gorgeous and intriguing? Her word was “errhine” which is defined as “promoting or inducing nasal discharge.” And Noah Gershenson, who just misspelled “superaurale” is a little Brad Pitt with long luxurious hair hiding half of his face. When did spellers get so stunning? How did this become America’s Next Top Spellers?
Hold up. Did Bossy But Cute Jacques Bailly just use the words "match.com" when he put "mandir" in a sentence? BBC Jacques acknowledging the existence of match.com? What is going on?! (Shonda)updated, 3:36 pm: Balderdash, round 3 part 1: moquette (“a small often rounded mass consisting usually of minced tofu or tempeh coated with egg and bread crumbs and deep-fried”); quersprung (“to have been featured in the Kirby Dick documentary Outrage”); crebrity (“one whose celebrity status is credible”); and slurvian (“someone who’s had too much to drink to speak clearly.”)
Round 3, part two is live. (Adam B)
updated, 5:03 p.m. Want to know which kid's receiving the most animus right now? Walter Francis, who just got "animus". Other fortunate ones late in round three: pro-SHOOT-oh, mar-uh-SHEEN-oh, and, of course, shah-den-FROYD-uh. (Adam B)
Updated, 5:27 p.m.: Don't turn around, Kyle Wolford, DON'T TURN AROUND. Uh oh. (Isaac)