A few announcements …

May 26, 2009
Bee director Paige Kimble offers advice -- and a reality check -- to spellers Tuesday night.

Bee director Paige Kimble offers advice -- and a reality check -- to spellers Tuesday night.

If Tuesday’s Round One computer test didn’t send a shock wave through the teens and tweens vying for the title of champion at the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee, then Tuesday night’s assembly with Bee staff surely did the trick.

Bee director Paige Kimble reminded the field that at most 50 spellers would advance into Thursday morning’s semifinals — a huge cut of the 293-kid field. For kids who might already be antsy over their performance on the computer test, this unavoidable fact will probably cause more than a little tossing and turning tonight.

The assembly was the first time many of us got to see the stage set for the Bee, and it looks practically identical to last year’s save for the “2009” in the title. It’s very cheery and a great fit for the tone of the competition. ESPN2 has been running repeats of last year’s Bee finals this week, and the intense focus on the kids’ faces doesn’t do justice to the set. Pretty impressive.

The 2009 stage set.

The 2009 stage set.

Also on hand Tuesday night was pronouncer Dr. Jacques Bailly, who went over the kinds of questions the kids can and cannot ask. But the biggest applause went to speller Kennyi Kwaku Aouad, whose talk on tips for spellers was preceded by a clip of him at the 2007 attempting to correctly hear Bailly offer up “sardoodledom.” He got it.

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2 Responses to “A few announcements …”

  1. Sherol Clarke Says:

    Can the general public go to the bee?


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