National Spelling Bee will be shown in prime time


I love the Spelling Bee and I’m glad to see these kids get some more recognition.

Yes, I know: all it demonstrates is a kid’s ability to memorize obscure words and is not necessarily an indicator of high intelligence or even a well-rounded education. And a lot of 'em are home-schooled (giving them an unfair advantage, maybe?). But all these kids are good in other areas, too, and I like seeing the “smart kids” get rewarded for being smart.

I recently watched our regional spelling bee. I was most impressed with the boy who came in fourth. He looked to be only about eight years old and always seemed to get much tougher words than the older kids just before and after him. He lost in the fifth round trying valiantly to spell some complex medical term, I believe. Like the girl who won, he was also home schooled.

I can’t wait to see him again next year.

Way back when, my sister came in second in the regionals.

It really isn’t just about memorization. It also has to do with understanding word origins and combinations.

Wish I never had to look things up in the dictionary!

Thanks for the heads up.

Just some Scripp’s National Spelling Bee trivia:

In the mid 1990’s, I briefly temped for the guy who produced the show that I believe was only shown on PBS or some other channel few people watched. I worked out of the guy’s house and he was computer-challenged, to say the least. He didn’t really care for the spelling bee and was just doing it to earn a few bucks between other shows. He did, however, have an exclusive contract for the event for several years.

I asked him why he didn’t try to have it aired on a better channel, or do some promo work or whatever. He said the only people interested in the spelling bee were the parents and family of the finalists and a few kids who had lost earlier rounds. Ratings were, to be nice, not exactly blockbuster.

I always thought he was missing the boat on promotion, but maybe it wasn’t the time back then. I think his entire production budget was a couple thousand dollars and I remember hearing him haggle over the price of folding chair rentals at the ballroom where it was going to be taped.

BTW, I looked at the site and it appears the guy I worked for no longer has anything to do with show - at least his name is nowhere to be found on credits.

Presumably, the National Spelling Bee has become big due to movies such as Spellbound and Akeelah and the Bee (A Starbucks Entertainment production!).

I’ll probably end up watching a little of this. I placed about 12th or 15th on Long Island when I was in sixth grade, and I studied a list of words, but I never thought to take it as seriously as some of the finalist kids do. It’s a great opportunity for them and it’s a good reward for hard work, but good lord, a lot of them look like they’re so nervous they’ll explode. :wink: