OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Fifty semifinalists are preparing to take the stage at the National Spelling Bee -- including the sister of the 2009 winner and two five-time participants.
Thursday's semifinals will be broadcast live on ESPN2, as will the finals Thursday evening.
Unlike in the preliminary rounds, spellers who get words wrong will hear the dreaded bell that signals it's time to leave the stage.
Among the favorites is 10-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kan., whose sister, Kavya, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee three years ago. Vanya was the only speller to earn a perfect score in the preliminary rounds.
Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison, the youngest speller in the history of the event, did not make the semifinals.
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Scripps Spelling Bee
School enrollment has opened for the Scripps National Spelling Bee and will be open until October 15. The national bee is next May.
For Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., third time was the, well, periapt. That’s charm to most people. After finishing third two years in a row, Arvind, an eighth-grader, came back strong to win the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night.
See photos of Vanya Shivashankar, from Olathe, after she made the finals of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Olathe sixth grader Vanya Shivashankar finished the Scripps National Spelling Bee tied for 5th place.
Vanya Shivashankar was announced Wednesday as a semi-finalist for the Scripps Spelling Bee.
Spellers began to be eliminated Wednesday in onstage rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Here’s a look at how the students from Kansas and Missouri fared in the second and third round of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee is under way, with 281 youngsters taking the first vocabulary test in the history of the competition.
It’s known that kids can say some unexpected things. Thanks to video they can do some crazy things too. We get to watch it over and over.
Sometimes you have to laugh during the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
To spice up the Spelling Bee, a comedian has joined to help pen the humor to the paper.
This year 281 spellers will compete from the 50 U.S. states and surrounding territories in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Spelling Bee Champions gain national recognition. What do they do later in life? We caught up with ten past champions.
Not only will Bee competitors be tested on spelling, but they’ll also be tested on vocabulary in changes announced Tuesday.
With the Scripps National Spelling Bee coming up May 28-30, dare we ask: Does anybody really need to learn to spell in an age of spell-check, auto-correcting cell phones and text-messaging abbreviations?