"Well, it was bound to happen sometime," Colette Giezentanner, speller 304 said, as she was eliminated.
She misspelled "Chama," a member of a genus of eulamellibranchiate bivalve mollusks of warm or tropical seas having fixed massive irregular inequivalve shells and comprising the rock oysters and extinct related forms.
The Missouri sixth grader is at her first Bee, and was here through the RSVBee program. She was one of two finalists who came through the program. Both have been eliminated.
"It is pretty cool" to be in the finals, Colette said. "I did not expect to get this far."
You may have noticed Colette's mismatched socks -- one has eyeballs on it and the other is rainbow striped. It's now a good luck charm, a habit that started when she was nine, at her first regional spelling bee. Then, the mismatched socks were accidental, but she's done it ever since. (That first pair was one rainbow sock and one ice cream sock -- but the ice cream sock is long gone.)
Colette said she's always looked up to the other spellers. She doesn't have cable at home, so she'd often go to her grandmother's house to watch the spelling bee.
"I know how much intelligence and poise it takes to be up there," she said. "I know it will be hard. Whatever I get is going to be a big accomplishment."
Being in the Bee "is an honor, definitely," Colette said. The finalists encourage and inspire people.
When she's not spelling, Colette likes to write, read graphic novels and sing classical pieces.