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.
Ohio has 19 students entered into the competition, with six being from Northeast Ohio.
Shiv Dewan of North Canton, Ohio, was not ready to call it quits after failing to make it to the final round of Scripps National Spelling Bee — he asked a judge to take another look at his multiple-choice test to make sure it was scored correctly.
Melina Gabele was caught by surprise when Paul Loeffler of ESPN announced that she would join 48 other spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals.
There is still one speller in the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Last year, Vanya Shivashankar was cut from the Scripps Bee without misspelling a word. This is her last chance to win.
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.