Last year, Vanya Shivashankar was cut from the Scripps Bee without misspelling a word. This is her last chance to win.
Laughter. L-A-U-G-H-T-E-R. Laughter.
All jokes aside, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is serious business and the contestants feel an immense amount of the pressure when they approach the microphone and face the judges.
Letter-by-letter, they mime the spelling of the word on the palm of their hand or they silently mutter under their breath, working to merge the letters together to form the correct word. Some crack and others persevere.
While the game in serious, it takes some subtle humor from the judges to help ease the tension and lighten the mood. A quick smile from a contestant is all it takes.
Watch the video to listen to some light-hearted jokes from past Scripps National Spelling Bee competitions.
Forty-six spellers in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee will advance to Thursday morning’s televised semifinals, including several who have been on the semifinal stage in prior years.
It's said if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.
Are you a good enough speller to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee?
The queen of primetime scripted television loves to nerd out over the Scripps National Spelling Bee each year.
Thirteen-year-old Arvind Mahankali of New York has won the Scripps National Spelling bee.
A look at some unusual, difficult or otherwise noteworthy words from the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Eleven spellers go into Thursday night's dramatic 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee finals on live TV, including a two-time third-place finisher and other multiyear contestants.
Ashwin Veeramani, a seventh grader at Incarante Word Academy in Parma Heights, was elimated from the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.
A Parma Heights student is among 42 spellers that advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.