Old friends

The first time she came to stage this morning, Katharine Wang, speller 284, tried to use her long-time bee tenure to her advantage. It's her fourth time here.

"Dr. Bailly, would you say we're old friends?" she asked. "Could you do me a favor and give me a word I actually know?"

She spelled "periastron" correctly the first time, but misspelled "cinquecento" and was eliminated.

The best

Ankita Vadiala, speller 261, had just one request for Dr. Bailly:

"Think you can make this as easy as the last round?" she said.

Dr. Bailly replied: "I have no choice. I'd like to."

Luckily, Ankita knew "ballabile."

"Yes!" she said, grinning. After she spelled it correctly, she jumped up and down."Thank you, Dr. Bailly, you really are the best."

Eyes closed

Muriel Cotman, speller 246, closed her eyes as she correctly spelled "punchinello" in the last round.

This time, she took deep breaths while she learned about her word, closed her eyes and misspelled "cupressineous" to be eliminated.


We've had several recent misses.

Shobha Dasari, speller 237, missed on "siderism." Michelle Yakubek, speller 236, misspelled "phylephebic." Smrithi Upadhyayula, speller 234, is out on "cimex." William Yaeger, speller 207, misspelled "corroboree." Lipika Narisetti, speller 183, is out on "rechauffeau." Owen Kovalik, speller 181, is out on "xenodochium."


Melina Gabele, speller 198, is getting words on a trend.

She was excited to spell "schnell" correctly in the last round -- she missed the semifinals in her first appearance. This round, she correctly spelled "schiller" and is still in the competition.

Champions' brothers

Jairam Hathwar, speller 153, misspelled "riegel" to get out. He's the brother of Sriram Hathwar, who was co-champion last year.

"Well, I was very excited and happy that I even made it to the semifinals" Jairam said after he was eliminated. "I'll study harder and hopefully next time, I'll do better."

Sriram said he's happy that his brother made it.

"So very proud of him, I know he did his best," he said.


Before the bee, speller 15, Jenna-May Ingal and speller 16, Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, were talking on stage.

"When you walk up to the mic, it feels like everyone's eyes are on you," Jenna-May said.

Snehaa agreed.

"I feel, like, really nervous," she said. "I've done the best I can. ...You have to get lucky, get a word you know."

Snehaa spelled "gibus" correctly to stay in. Jenna-May misspelled "periegesis" and is out.