It's not the only celebration

Getting to the semifinals is surely exciting for Marcus Behling, speller 5. But it's a big week for his family, too.

"Before I begin, can I give a shout-out to my brother who graduated from high school yesterday as valedictorian?" he asked, to applause. "Mom and I are very proud of you."

His brother, Mitchell, competed in the spelling bee in 2011. Marcus spelled "apivorous" correctly.

And the semifinalists are...

There are 49 semifinalists. Each scored at least 29 out of a possible 36 points between the on-stage and written spellings.

The semifinalists include four spellers who have made the finals before, three people whose siblings have one the top prize at the bee and three spellers who achieved perfect scores between the written test and on-stage spelling.

The semifinalists are:

Speller 1, Victor Sutton, from Auburn, Alabama

Speller 5, Marcus Behling, from Chandler, Arizona

Speller 9, Eesha Sohail, from Bakersfield, California

Giveaway

The 283 spellers who participated today will all get a Surface 3 from Microsoft. The semifinalists received their on stage, while those who have been eliminated received a voucher to pick theirs up later this week.