Did you not hear me?

Erin Howard, speller 36, is a piano player and a fan of Hamilton.

"OK, you really have to give me a word I know right now. Really," she said, when she came to the mic.

Her word: apparentement, an alliance of French political parties formed during an election.

"I'm sorry, did you misunderstand my request?" she asked.

Erin, an Alabama sixth grader who tied for 22nd place last year air-typed her word - and got it right.

She raised her hands in victory as she went back to her seat.