Posts Tagged ‘Spelling Bee’

Monday Medley

What we read while wondering where they found this Jaden Smith kid…

  • As tornadoes struck Oklahoma again, native Oklahoman Ben Montgomery delivers a story from the scene.
  • Ever wanted to see 42 takes of one scene dissected?  Here you go.

A Disappointing Bee?

So, I know I said that the Spelling Bee never disappoints, but I may have to correct myself. Last night’s spelling bee finals were kind of disappointing, and not just because my pick, Laura Newcombe, was eliminated on a word Dr. Bailey couldn’t even pronounce right. No, there were three things that kept the Bee from being as great as it usually is: Continue reading

A Viewer’s Guide to Tonight’s Spelling Bee Finals

It’s been over a year since I last sang the praises of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but Spelling Bee Day 2010 has finally arrived. This afternoon’s semifinal rounds did not disappoint. It had controversy, surprises, and a dramatic Round 6 that eliminated nine of 13 contestants before being cut short for time (and, presumably, because the Bee wanted to save some contestants for tonight’s Finals on ABC).

The semifinals were particularly brutal for those who finished well in last year’s Bee—the presumptive favorites for 2010. Tim Ruiter, who finished tied for second last year, lost on his first word of the day: fustanella. Also losing in the semis were Esther Park (who finished tied for 17th last year), Bradon Whitehead (37th), Anjithaa Radakrishnan (12th), Nicolas Rushlow (17th), Connor Aberle (17th), Sukanya Roy (12th), and Neetu Chandak (8th), who was actually eliminated twice, after being reinstated after the first one. Continue reading

Why the Spelling Bee Never Disappoints

So last week I was lucky enough to wake up early and turn the TV to ESPN, expecting to see Cold Pizza or Mike and Mike in the Morning or something like that, only to find the Scripps National Spelling Bee. It was like pulling into the drive-thru at McDonald’s and hearing them say, “Sorry, we’re out of burgers, would you like a steak from Ruth’s Chris instead?”

The Spelling Bee is great. It is incredibly engaging television. I spent almost five hours last Thursday watching the semifinals on ESPN and then the championship rounds on ABC. Now, you probably just think this makes me boring, and there are definitely aspects of the bee that appeal specifically to me (I really like words like “apodyterium,” meaning, “the apartment at the entrance of the baths, or in the palestra, where one stripped; a dressing room”—which ironically is NOT recognized by Word’s Spell Check), but I maintain that the spelling bee is about as close to a perfectly designed competition as there is. Continue reading