eohartman: (Rowdy)
Yes, it's that time of year again! Here's my team picks for this year:

Vanya Shivashankar (#90) - Team Captain. She was on my team last year. Her sister, Kavya, is the 2009 Spelling Bee Champion. She's in 7th grade this year, so she still has one more year to compete if she doesn't go all the way this year. But I'm hoping that this is her year. Last year, she tied for fifth place. This is her fourth spelling bee appearance. Between her sister's appearances (from 2006 to her win in 2009) and her own appearances, we have watched her grow up!

Syamantak Payra (#239) - This is his second Bee - he tied for seventh place last year. He flew under my radar last year, but I'm totally on Team Syamantak now! I suspect he'll do well in the semi-finals and will make it to at least fifth place this year in the finals.

Syamantak just got out in the first round of the semifinals with the word "circumforaneous." Damn!

Sumedh Garimella (#49) - Sumedh is a local kid - he's from my county, so I have to support him, natch. He's a fan of the book Animal Farm (a fantastic book). This is his first (and last possible, since he's in 8th grade) year in the Bee. I don't know if he'll make it past the semifinals, but I'm rooting for him anyway.

Jacob Williamson (#38) - This kid is a dork, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible. He is a coin collector. When he went to spell his first word in the semifinal round, Dr. Bailly announced the word ("euripus") and Jacob squeed with excitement and pumped his fist in the air as he said "I actually know that one!" Oh Jacob, you are adorable. I want you to go far.

Tajaun Gibbison (#87) - He's from Jamaica and has the most delightful accent. He's polite, intelligent, and wants to study medicine. He's in eighth grade so this is his last year to compete. I'm hoping he gets to the finals!

Good luck to everyone!
eohartman: (Rowdy)
Alright, it's that time of year again! The Scripps National Spelling Bee finals are tonight! The semi-finals air at 2 p.m. EST and the finals begin at 8 p.m. EST.

Here's my team:
Arvind Mahankali - Team captain. He was on my team last year, where he placed 3rd for the second year in a row. I am placing high bets on him to make it all the way this year and take home that giant trophy. This is his last year he's able to compete, so I want him to win it all!
Vanya Shivashankar - Her older sister, Kavya, won in 2009. I remember how excited she was when her sister won the championship and she had a glimmer of her future in her eye. With Vanya as her coach, I think she'll go far. She's still fairly young - still has another two years that she can compete - but I imagine she'll at least make it into the finals.
Rachel Cundey - She's from Augusta, Georgia, and is in the district honor band. This is her fifth appearance at the Bee (holy crap, what determination!) and she tied for 10th last year. This is her last year she's able to compete. I think she'll make it into the top 5 this year.
Pranav Sivakumar - His favorite book is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 'Nuff said. (I think he'll probably get out in the semifinals, but I still love him.)
Amber Born - Also a lover of Hitchhiker's Guide, but she seems to be a down-to-earth, funny girl. She didn't make it far last year (42nd place - GET IT!?!), but I hope she makes it to the finals tonight. Regardless, she has a fun personality and I'm excited to see her on camera.

Good luck to all the contestants! I'm eager to cheer y'all on!
eohartman: (Default)
Unless you've been living under a rock, or you're not nearly as enthusiastic about spelling bees as I am, y'all should know that tonight is the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee!

There are nine students that are going into the finals:
#19, Snigdha Nandipati - I think Snigdha is going to be one of the last spellers standing. 
#30, Frank Cahill - He's dorky and reminds me of Dougie Howser. 
#44, Stuti Mishra - Stuti is awesome. I remember following her last year, even though she only made it to the semi-finals. She is incredibly smart.
#89, Gifton Samuel Wright -  He's never been to the championships before, but he is an amazing guy - one of 10 children! This is the last year he's able to compete, since he's in 8th grade. I kind of love him.
#136, Jordan Gabriella Hoffman - Jordan is adorable - she is so peppy and friendly, and has an amazing voice. I suspect she'll go out quickly in the finals, though.
#145, Emma Ciereszynski -  her favorite book is House of Leaves. Do you know how f-ed up that book is? It is awesome, and is one of the reasons why she's on my "team" to win.
#162, Arvind V. Mahankali - Arvind has a very, very good chance of winning this year. He came in 3rd place last year, and 9th place in 2010. He's definitely the one to beat this time around.
#193, Nicholas B. Rushlow - Nicholas is an old pro at spelling bees - he's been to the championships in '08, '09, '10, and 11. I think it's going to come down to him and Arvind for second and first place.
#213, Lena Greenberg - I don't really know much about her, but she looks adorable. I'm a fan.

So, my "team" is Gifton, Emma, and Arvind. Arvind is, naturally, my team captain, and the one I think will win the whole thing.

I can't wait for the finals tonight! ESPN at 8:00 p.m.!
eohartman: (Default)
This is spelling bee week, but I've been up to my ears in raccoons so I haven't had an opportunity to look at the roster and make my picks. I'm still short on time, so I encourage you to check out [livejournal.com profile] scottique's LJ for analysis of the beginning rounds and her semifinal picks.

Since she's an awesome friend, she's also compiled my top 12 list going into the semifinals. You can check out all the semifinalists here.

My top 12 list, in order of Bee number, is:
16. Anvita Mishra She got out in round six when she misspelled "nyphrocytary" with an "ery." Bummer.
19. Sarah Gadre Dangit, Sarah got out in the fourth round with a misspelling of the word "phillumenist." She left out one of the "l"s. :-(
24. Laura Newcombe
36. Grace Remmer Out in the sixth round after adding an "e" on the end of "jehu." :-(
151. Hannah Evans Crap - she went out in round five with "lassi," which she mistakenly spelled as "lasse." SO BUMMED.
155. Neetu Chandak
188. Nicholas Rushlow Dangit, he went out in the fourth round on "devant," when he spelled it as "divant." :-(
202. Connor Aberle Dangit, he went out in round four with "goniometer."
205. Joanna Ye
207. Neel Mehta He got out in round four. :-(
213. Sukanya Roy Out in round five with misspelling of "hyleg."
272. Karen Laska Karen got out in round four. :-(

I'm picking Hannah Evans as my team captain - not only is she the little sister of Matthew Evans, who was my 2006 and 2007 picks, but she correctly spelled one of my favorite words, "phantasmagoric." She's an eighth grader, so this is her last chance at the winning.

Edit: Hannah went out in round five. Between Hannah AND Tim, I'm upset.



Christin's got Tim Ruiter on her 2010 top finishers list and as her team captain. Although he's not on my team, I really hope he goes far - he's been a delight to watch ever since last year! Edit: Tim got out in round four, with the word "fustanella." I am SO bummed!

Tonight, Christin's hosting a Spelling Bee party and I am stoked. It's hard for me to concentrate at work today with all this excitement in the air!
eohartman: (Default)
Last night, Kavya won the 2009 Spelling Bee championships with the word "Laodicean."



The semifinals were intense. My top two, Sidharth and Kyle, did not make it as far as I wanted them to. While Kyle came in fourth place, Sidharth was a major disappointment, bowing out of the competition at a mere ninth place. I really wanted this to be his year, but it wasn't in the stars.

A crowd favorite at our party last night was Kennyi Aouad. He's ADORABLE and charming and my inner-14-year-old-fan-girl had a crush on him. Sadly, he only made it to sixth place, when he misspelled the work "palatschinken" as "pallachinkin."

Despite the huge upset about Sidharth not making it nearly as far as he could have, I am pleased with the results. Kavya is an incredible speller and definitely deserves this honor. She WILL go far in life. She was [livejournal.com profile] scottique's top pick and she won! Congratulations, Kavya!
eohartman: (Default)
On Tuesday, the Scripps Spelling Bee contestants completed round one, the written portion of the bee. Yesterday, the contestants completed rounds two and three, both of which were oral portions of the spelling bee.

Now, they've announced the semifinalists, who will be spelling in the semifinal round this morning. The semifinalists were determined by their point values that they earned during rounds two and three (speller gets three points per correct word spelled). No more than 50 spellers move on to the semifinals, and we've got 41 this year.

Four out of my five picks are in the semifinals:
1. Sidharth Chand
2. Kyle Mou
3. Josephine Koa: Josephine got out in the second semifinal round with the word "gastaldo." She spelled it "gestaldo."
4. Sriram Hathwar: He got out in the semifinal round with the word "fodient." He spelled it "fodiant." Dangit!

Unfortunately, Julia Denniss, my Georgia pick, didn't make it to the semifinals. Another disappointment is Hannah Evans, younger sister of my last-year's favorite, Matthew Evans. I wanted her to make it to at least the semi-finals, but she didn't. Bummer.

You can watch the results of the semifinals in real time or catch real time updates on twitter, as well.

I'm looking forward to tonight's finals! I'm still hoping it'll get down to Sidharth and Kyle for the final two!
eohartman: (Default)
It's that time again, guys!

The Scripps National Spelling Bee has begun!

Round one was today, while tomorrow begins the tv portion of the competition. The finals are Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. and will be televised live on ABC.

For a quick run down of the competition, I turn to [livejournal.com profile] scottique's description:
To compete in the Bee, you must be in the 8th grade or under, and under the age of 16 by three months. There is no minimum on age or grade; the youngest spellers are usually 9 or 10 and in elementary school. If you win the Bee, you cannot compete again, but any other finish, you can, provided you're still eligible from an age/grade perspective. You have to qualify every year by competing on community levels, and you're usually sponsored by a newspaper. Although it's called that "National" spelling bee, and the vast majority of competitors are American, students can be from other countries, and Canada always sends a strong team. They start with 291 spellers this year, and 40-50 will advance to the semi-finals, from which 10-20 will advance to the finals.

Here is this year's spelling bee roster, and here are some interesting statistics on some of the kids.

Last year, three of my five picks made it to the finals, but all three of those made it out pretty early in the final round.
Sameer Mishra, or "numnuts" as I affectionately call him, won with the word "guerdon" after Sidharth Chand misspelled "prosopopoeia." Since Sameer is no longer allowed to participate in the spelling bee, my picks this year are as follows:

1. Sidharth Chand:

He was second-runner up last year, and made such a valiant effort at being the champion, I have total faith that he will prevail in victory this year. He's my #1. I have very high hopes for him.

2. Kyle Mou:

He was in my top-five last year and tied for 8th place out of nearly 300 in the competition. His humbleness and innocence still melts my heart: "I didn’t expect to get this far, so I’m happy,” he said in a phone interview...“I’d never heard of that word [lapies]. It didn’t sound hard, but it turned out hard.” This is his third year and I fully expect to see him in the top-ten again. In fact, I'm really hoping it comes down to Kyle and Sidharth for the championship.

3. Josephine Kao:


This is her fourth and last year at the competition (next year, she'll be too old). She placed 13th last year, and I believe she'll make it through to at least the top-ten this year. She WILL go out with a bang!

4. Sriram Jagadeesh Hathwar:


This is his second year in the bee. Last year, he was the youngest ever contestant, and this year he's still only one of three nine-year-olds in the competition. I give him mad props for being unafraid of the competition. He's got to be a great speller with a name like Sriram Jagadeesh Hathwar.

5. Julia M. Dennis:


This is her first year so I don't have much to go off for picking her. But she's from Atlanta, so I feel that I have to have a Georgia girl represent.

I'll update this page over the next few days as the competition gets heated, the words get tougher, and my favorites go to the top! :-)
eohartman: (Default)
Sameer Mishra is the 2008 Scripps Spelling Bee Champion!



Sameer won with the word "guerdon" after Sidharth Chand misspelled "prosopopoeia" (he left out the "i"). CNN has a good article about Sameer's win. Even though he wasn't one of my picks, I'm still delighted he won. Tia Thomas, my number one pick, got third place. Out of my "team," she was the one who got the furthest. And the only girl to make it that far! Props go out to all of the kids, but especially Tia, Sidharth, and Sameer for making it into the top three!

The best part of the finals was in Round 9, when Sameer was given the word "numnah" to spell. Hilarity ensues when he mishears the word and thinks the announcer just asked him to spell "numb nut."

This is the video of the numnah scandal, and his "after the word" interview:


He was relieved that the word was "numnah" BECAUSE HE KNEW HOW TO SPELL IT. "NUMB NUT COULD BE SPELLED SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS." When watching this at Christin's party, we had to pause TiVO and laugh our drunken asses off for awhile because it's Just That Good.
eohartman: (Default)
Okay, my picks for the Scripps National Spelling Bee championship:

1. Matthew Evans. He went pretty far last year and I imagine he'll get pretty far again this year. He's a cutie and has a great personality. He's my "team captain." Damnit, he's out in Round 6 with "secernent." ARGH!

1. Okay, Tia Thomas is now my first pic. She's home-schooled, 13, and her and Matthew Evans had a rivalry going on. So if he can't win, I want her to win.

2. Sade Dunbar. I don't know much about her and I'm picking her based upon the fact that she got, and spelled correctly, "coniferous." I like that word. Crap, she's out in Round 7 with "hidradenitis."

3. Austin Pineda. He has a long history with spelling bees AND he's an 8th grader, so this is his last shot at victory.

4. Kyle Mou. He's 12 and in seventh grade. He's humble, yet confident about his abilities: "I don't really expect to win or anything because it is pretty hard...The farther I get, the less nervous I am."

5. Akshat Shekhar. I <3 his picture- he looks so happy to be at the spelling bee. He was eliminated in the fifth round this year, but has made past that for 2008. His plan for today is to "just hang in there for two or three more rounds, and then the finals, anything can happen." I like his style. AHHH! He's out in Round 7 with "cryptococcosis." CRAP!


ETA: Tia, Austin, and Kyle are the only ones who have made it to the finals. :-( I was hoping more would make it (I'm especially bummed about Matthew Evans!). I can't wait to see how well they do tonight! Spelling bee finals and drinking at Christin's!


On a totally random note, SarahJessicaParkerLooksLikeAHorse.com is hilarious.

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