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.

Vanya spells

We just watched a video of Vanya Shivashankar, speller 90, through the years. She's been attending the bee since 2006, when her sister first competed. Kavya was the 2009 champion.

This is Vanya's fifth bee as a speller. She spelled "consommé" correctly to stay in the competition.

The Jamaican speller

Sara-Beth McPherson, speller 87, is out on "agaric." She asked a number of questions and watched the clock count down.

"It was an honor and a good experience," she said of working with Rev. Glen Archer, the spelling coach who died this year. "I feel excited that I'm here."