The 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee is well underway! After the first two days of competition, the field which once included 275 champion spellers, has narrowed down to 41.
These first two days consisted entirely of preliminary rounds. The 25-word written test (Round 1) took place on Tuesday morning. All of the spellers were neatly seated in organized rows as they attentively transcribed the words Dr. Bailly articulately pronounced. The preliminary oral rounds of this year’s bee began this morning at 8 PM ET and concluded around 5 PM ET. Rounds 2 and 3 were long but strenuous, as each of the 275 spellers got a chance to approach the microphone and face the vast audience.
Promptly after the conclusion of Round 3, Head Judge Mary Brooks announced that the list of semi-finalists would be disclosed in approximately five minutes. I imagine that many hopeful spellers and families anxiously waited around the ballroom for the much awaited results. Only about 50 spellers would be able to advance in the competition and compete live on ESPN for the final day of competition.
Soon after the ESPN3 broadcast ended, I presume Mrs. Kimble, the director of the bee, stepped up to publicize the placard numbers of the spellers proceeding to the semi-finals as I have seen her do many times before. I am sure there were mixed acclamations throughout the ballroom after her announcement- cheers of joy, groans of disappointment, and words of comfort, encouragement, and best wishes. However, all of the spellers did a fantastic job and I hope they had a wonderful and valuable experience! Also, Good Luck to all of the spellers competing tomorrow!
The list of semi-finalists was also posted on the bee’s website. http://public.spellingbee.com/public/results/2011/finishers/html?type=semi
Most of the spellers on our list will be competing tomorrow. As noted in the previous post, the bees are always quite unpredictable. It was unfortunate to see that the list did not include Rahul and Juliana. They are both excellent competitors and we will miss them tomorrow.
Here are the spellers we mentioned in our last post who will appear on ESPN tomorrow morning:
Who will be this year’s champion? Will it be a non-eighth grader? A first timer at the national contest? Or will the trend continue with a veteran eighth grader taking the trophy? With the Finals slot on ESPN being reduced to just 90 minutes, will the words in the Finals be harder or will the Bee look for fewer finalists? A lot of interesting questions will be answered tomorrow. For the time being, they will make the competition that much more intriguing to watch as the drama unfolds.