Brace yourselves. The Scripps National Spelling Bee finals are Thursday.

Edith Fuller walked to a microphone Wednesday and pulled it down, right to a correct Edith Fuller-height.


“Hi, Edith,” pronounced Jacques Bailly, a pronouncer of a Scripps National Spelling Bee.

“Hi,” pronounced Edith, age 6.

“Tapas,” pronounced Bailly.

“Tapas,” pronounced Edith, who wore a crawl in her hair. “Will we greatfully give me a definition?”

She got a definition. Then she asked a few some-more questions, including one about alternate pronunciations. Then, Edith dejected it.

“T-A-P-A-S,” pronounced Edith. “Tapas.”

She was appearing Wednesday during a Scripps National Spelling Bee, where she was a youngest-ever contestant. Edith, one of some-more than 200 spellers who competed, ultimately did not allege to a final, that is scheduled for Thursday and will atmosphere on ESPN and ESPN2.

Still, though. Edith, a home-schooled tyro from Oklahoma who competent for a bee when she was only 5, stood adult there on a unequivocally large theatre and spelled “tapas.” Edith is doing okay, even yet she won’t be this year’s spelling champion.

In total, 40 bright immature spellers have modernized to Thursday’s final during a Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland. They enclosed Saketh Sundar, 11, of Maryland, and Tejas Muthusamy, 14, from Virginia.

The whole thing promises to be really dramatic, since how could it not be? But first: a prelims. That’s why parents, siblings and unconditional cameras, there to constraint a play and a glory, filled a inside gathering core ballroom on Wednesday.

Off to one side of a stage, where competitors sat watchful for their turn, was a trophy, golden and gleaming. On a other side was a gray couch, where degraded spellers flopped down after a bell dinged, signaling that they have botched a word.

As a spellers stood before a mic, there were questions about a denunciation of origin, definitions, pronunciations and repetitions and please, can they have that in a sentence? Also, are there any other swap pronunciations? Some spelled difference out on their hands. Some took a while.

“Repudiate” stumped Sylvia Ngoc Nguyen, a 10-year-old from St. Joseph, Mo., and “rhubarb” got Hannah Fernandes, a 10-year-old out of Omaha.

R-h-u-b-a-r-b. Good for pies. Bad for bees.

Daniel Healy, 11, couldn’t tackle “pontifical,” a whoopsies that seemed to leave him gutted. At slightest he sure seemed gutted during a post-spell talk conducted with a contributor who grossly underestimated a repairs finished on a ballroom stage. Sorry, Daniel.

(Now would be a good time to note that we have copy-and-pasted each singular hard word in this story. Including pontifical. Carry that with you, Daniel, and all a others. No matter what happens, we can always out-spell me.)

There were success stories on a stage, too: Harshita Shet, a 13-year-old from New York state, nailed “turmeric,” and Zach Swyers, a 14-year-old who was also from New York, knew “welterweight.” Leela Waterford, a 13-year-old from Hawaii, got “advolution,” then watched as Kendal Win, 12, of North Carolina, knocked out “architectonic.”

“Instigate. Okay,” Anna-Livia Regan, 14, of Portland, Ore., said, after receiving her word. “Can we have all of a applicable information?”

She afterwards added: “Just, like, all of it.”

For real, only like, all of it, Dr. Bailly. Anna eventually spelled her word rightly and stayed on a stage.

Therese Ostermann’s 12-year-old son, Nathan, missed “dietetic,” a word she suspicion he’d get. Still, she said she was happy that her son had his opportunity.

After Nathan was eliminated, Ostermann pronounced she attempted to encourage her son what an “awesome kid” he is. It doesn’t matter, she said, either he spelled “dietetic” or not.

“You always wish for a best,” pronounced Ostermann,“ though we always know that anything is possible.”

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A 5-year-old, Edith Fuller, is headed to a National Spelling Bee. She’s a youngest contestant


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