For some children, the world is unforgivingly divided into two groups — "eliminated" and "still spelling."
On Wednesday, 239 kids suffered their own personal colony collapse when they were eliminated from competition at the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee. By the end of the busy day, 42 contestants remained buzzing in the direction of the "semifinals."
If you enjoy watching the dreams of young people disappear in real-time, you will love the sting of Scripps' interactive tracking map this year. Follow along (below) on Thursday as Bee contestants begin dropping like flies at 2 p.m. EDT.
REAL-TIME HIVE MIND
IS CALIFORNIA WINNING?
More than a dozen contestants claimed California as their home state. As of Wednesday evening, it appeared that two of them — Isabel Cholbi, 11, of San Bernardino and Audrey Bantug, 13, of San Ramon — remained in the competition, according to Scripps' interactive map.
"I like it ," Baron said, "because it trips up the standards a little bit, and lets some new talents through. The goal of the bee is to improve your understanding of the English language, and it definitely helps with that."
HOW MANY SPELLERS WILL MAKE IT TO THE SEMIFINALS AND FINALS?
42 semifinalists (from 281 regional winners) will go before a nationally televised audience on Thursday for the Scripps National Spelling Bee:
They include spellers from China and Italy, several who have made the semis in previous years, and three who had perfect scores on the preliminary computer-based spelling and vocabulary test that accounted for most of the points earned.
The official Bee '13 website anticipates "that no more than 12 spellers will advance to the Championship Finals," scheduled to take place Thursday evening.
The Competition Flow Chart explains the Rounds in detail.
The Spelling Bee champion wins:
- From Scripps, a $30,000 cash prize and the Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy
- From Merriam-Webster, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and a complete reference library
- From Encyclopædia Britannica, $2,000 of reference works including the Britannica Global Edition, 2013 Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD-ROM, and a three year membership to Britannica Online Premium