This is the second bee for Arushi Kalpande, speller 144, but her first semifinals.

"I tried to relax," she said.

She coorectly spelled "holoku," then misspelled "dicoccous" to be eliminated.

Another finalist set

"Last year, I was as close as anyone can be to winning," said Gokul Venkatachalam, speller 140, who finished third in last year's bee.

"I'm looking forward to trying to win. I'm not saying I will win, but I want to. Winning will be my ultimate redemption."

This is Gokul's fourth bee. He spelled "bordereau" correctly, and will be a finalist.

Golden ticket

Dylan O'Connor, speller 164, said he was feeling good before he took the stage. It's his fourth time at the bee, but only his second semifinals.

"I'm excited again," he said.

Dylan's mother, Alycia, was thrilled.

"It's like Charlie winning the golden ticket," she said.

Dylan misspelled "arcology" and was eliminated.

Deep breaths

Rohan Sachdev, speller 173, said he planned to take lots of deep breaths to prepare for the semifinals.

Rohan, a sixth grader, is in his first bee week. He’s been competing since second grade, and lost four times in a row before getting here.

More are out

"Oh, great," said Cy Orentlicher, speller 76, when he heard his word, "oppidan."

He misspelled it. "Oh well," he said.

Speller 62, Aniket Nuthalapati, is out on "tristeza."

Two more gone

Nathaniel Britton covered his mouth as he practiced spelling "rescissible" out loud before stepping to the mic. Unfortunately, he changed the last "I" for an "A" and is out.

Christine Farnberg, speller 130, was eliminated on "Syrette."


"What?" said Lily Mears, speller 117, when she heard her word. She asked for any alternate pronunciations, the definition, the part of speech and the language of origin.

"Phew," she said when she spelled "vilipend" correctly.