Dr. Bailly greeted Gokul Venkatachalam, speller 140, with a "What's up." He sported a rare grin before spelling "Canossa" correctly to stay in.
Dev Jaiswal, speller 132, has been feeling good all week.
After competing in the national bee in 2012, Dev was beaten at the local level for the next two years. So this, his eighth grade year, is a most triumphant return.
Vanya Shivashankar, speller 90, writes on her hand with her finger and smiles as she completes "bayadere." She's got it right.
Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, speller 16, held the microphone and bit her lip. With one arm crossed in front of her, she tried to figure out "oflag," a German prison camp for officers.
She misspelled, and is out. Snehaa raised her eyebrows as she heard the correct spelling.
Shreyas Muthusamy, Tejas' brother, was hoping Tejas would win so he could come to the national bee next year. Shreyas finished second to Tejas, speller 264, in the local competition.
But Tejas, a sixth grader who was eliminated, plans to return.
"I feel less pressure than all the eighth graders here," he said. "I can still come back next year and the year after. Think of how good I'll be in eighth grade."
Speller 264, Tejas Muthusamy, said he put a lot of pressure on himself – he wanted to do as well as he did last year, when he made it to the finals and tied for eighth place.
Paul Keaton, speller 92, said it’s his sister’s influence
that got him interested in the spelling bee. “I wouldn’t have done it had she not done it,” he said. “I
did it because I admired her.”
Paul Keaton, speller 92, said it’s his sister’s influence that got him interested in the spelling bee.
“I wouldn’t have done it had she not done it,” he said. “I did it because I admired her.”
Tejas Muthusamy, speller 264, is a returning finalist. That doesn't mean he knows every word he comes across -- even if he can spell them.
His word, "billiken," is "probably formed from a name plus an English combining form," Dr. Bailly said.
"Yay," Tejas said. It means a squat smiling comic figure used as a mascot.
Tejas got it right.
Siddharth Krishnakumar, speller 238, bit his lower lip as he asked Dr. Bailly to repeat the pronunciations of "Albumblatt." He got it right, and is still in the competition.
Cole Shafer-Ray, speller 200, air-typed his way to "samadhi" to stay in the competition.