Hello again! It’s been a while, everyone, but we’re back. This is a topic I would never normally talk about on this blog, but I felt as though a drawn-out Facebook post just wouldn’t do. This blog post is about the annual Scripps Spelling Bee, where the best kid spellers from around the country compete for the trophy and for $50,000. This year, the system officially broke. And, as a former spelling bee participant and as someone who watches every year, I need to talk about this. So here we go!
For those of you who didn’t stay up until nearly midnight to watch these events in its entirety, which I’m assuming is most of you, here’s the basic recap. The primetime final began around 8:30 p.m. last night, with 16 kids in the final round. Eventually, this group was cut in half to 8. And they just. kept. spelling. None of them could be broken. Dr. Jacques Bailly, the official pronouncer and unofficial host of the Bee since 2003, was “throwing the dictionary” at these kids. Perfect round after perfect round occurred and it was clear that there was no end in sight as the competition reached its third hour. And then, the unthinkable occurred. Dr. Bailly announced that there would be three more rounds, for a grand total of 20. Whoever was left standing at the end of those rounds would be crowned champion. And, as you can see from the picture, all eight kids made it through and were awarded the trophy. AND they all won the full $50,000.
I know not everyone who reads these is a giant nerd like myself, but I was physically sweating watching this. Co-champions have happened in the past, but eight?! To be entirely honest, in that final round, how could you want anything else then for all eight of them to come out on top? A passing joke my mom said to me, “Wow, there’s no way Scripps could have budgeted for this one!”, is 100% correct. They just shelled out $400,000! This is completely unprecedented. These kids have officially broken the Spelling Bee system.
The biggest question that remains now is what happens next. What in the world will next year’s Spelling Bee be like? Will the times be shortened? Will less questions be allowed? Will the judges have to start making up random words to try to stump these kids? That remains to be seen. But, between you, me, and the ghostlight, this was incredible to watch and proves that kids can change the world. Any thoughts on what next year’s competition might be like? Did you have a favorite from last night? Comment below and let me know. Until next time!