Live Blog: Rockin’ The Bee ‘07

Who’s ready to get their bee on? We’re live bee-logging the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals along with the ABC telecast.

To get you caught up from today’s earlier rounds, A List Of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago has an outstanding recap of the action. Darren Rovell at handicaps the bee and gives some analysis on the favorites. You can see all the results here at

Here are the big stories so far: Maithreyi Gopalakrishnan (No. 45) was my favorite to win, but got smoked by “castresian” in Round 5. And Samir Patel (245), considered the favorite to win, got his “clevis” handed to him shortly after. He appealed the pronunciation but was denied. So the Samir Gupta vs. Samir Patel final I was hoping for will not materialize. Now I’m rooting for Cody Wang vs. Anqi Dong.

I’ll be consulting the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary I got when I was about 12 and I. Moyer Hunsberger’s The Quintessential Dictionary along the way.

So enter the live blog action below starting at 8pm ET. And no matter what Johnnysweeptheleg says, I’m pretty sure most of the kids in the bee can bench press more than he can.

All times are Central. Central Daylight Time rules!

As we start the finals, here are the 15 remaining spellers:

Jonathan Horton (5), Evan O’Dorney (11), Tia Thomas (12), Cody Wang (25), Nate Gartke (28), Anqi Dong (37), Joseph Henares (47), Claire Zhang (59), Kavya Shivashankar (102), Nithya Vijayakumar (135), Connor Spencer (146), Matthew Evans (161), Prateek Kohli (169), Amy Chyao (245) and Isabel Jacobson (285).

7:00 It’s on and we’re live! Coming to the finals without Samir Patel is like showing up at Rochelle Rochelle and finding out there will be no Bette Midler! And already Mike & Mike sound like they have their first 15 sentences scripted.

7:06 G-roll? Jorelle? Geerolle? Jeerole! Aw, man. I hope this goes on for two hours. D’oh! Johnathan Horton got dinged.

7:10 We’ve got our first bio segment 10 minutes into the broadcast. I guess they have to use them while they can. And I’m already starting to despise some of these kids. Now Golic is tripping all over himself.

7:13 Tia Thomas gets “zacate.” Wasn’t he leader of Al Qaida in Iraq? And Tia gets the ding.

7:16 Here’s Cody Wang. And he gets crushed by “apozem.” Three of the first four are already eliminated. This thing might be over by 8:00. And our hopes of Wang vs. Dong are dashed.

7:20 Now Anqi Dong gets dinged, which is fine with me, since Dong is totally useless to me without Wang.

7:23 Stu Scott is now rubbing in to Johnathan Horton about the whole G-roll thing. Now Stu is making him cry. I will personally give a scholarship to any of these kids that punches Stu. Now Joseph Henares is busting out his standup comedy routine and is totally killing the crowd. He has them right where he wants them.

7:27 Urgund. I was just waiting for Claire Zhang to add the “t” at the end. You knew it was coming. The word’s not even in my dictionaries. I think they have some German guy in the back just making up words on the spot and passing them to Jacque.

7:33 Kavya Shivashankar is up and is probably one of the favorites … and now she’s gone. Her parents will make her wear a cilice tomorrow because of the shame she has brought them.

7:44 Mike & Mike are talking about psoriasis. I once confused psoriasis with cirrhosis. It was funny. Stu Scott is up again, taunting the children. “Short on experience. Long on courage.” Stu is busting out the crazy mad wisdom today.

7:45 Mmmm … helzel.

7:47 Matthew Evans didn’t seem to like the Hebrew much, but he nailed “Genizah.” [Uh, nothing weird/funny is meant here.]

7:53 Unlike me, who just got dinged on “Genizah.” Prateek Kohli is up. I’m just going to call him P. kohli, sort of like E. coli. Sometime when they ask for the origin, I’d like Jacque to say “jive.”

7:59 I suppose Isabel Jacobson is my sentimental favorite, being she’s from Madison, ‘Sconsin. I killed lots of brain cells in that city over the years. My brain is also wet and spongy as a result. It’s very helodes. It’s also an excellent breeding site for mosquitoes.

8:05 Now I think I have to root for Isabel. It’s just her and the boys. Evan O’Dorney probably can’t spell “puberty” yet. Did you hear that singing? He just says he doesn’t enjoy the spelling bee but feels compelled to do it. He’s a smart, talented kid. The kind that usually burns out by age 22.

8:10 Oh, snap. Schuhplattler. Evan totally bitschschlapped schuhplattler. O’Dorney rules!

8:13 Here’s Mr. Funnypants Joseph Henares. Not so funny this time. But he gets “triticale” right. I’m glad to see they are keeping Mike & Mike & Stu to a relative minimum. Robin Roberts just totally screwed up and announced Nithya Vijayakumar instead of Connor Spencer. Connor just got a little cocky and blew “cachalot.”

8:24 Randkluft. “Is that German?” … What the hell do you think? (BTW, no one who speaks German could be evil.)

8:29 I just learned that Kandoo wipes can make wiping yourself easy and fun. I must have some!

8:30 Followed by the commercial for Shaq’s Big Challenge. It is difficult to imagine this getting any better. They sure were building up the whole “special person” at the White House segment. I was hoping it would just be the Secretary of the Interior or someone really disappointing.

8:35 Round 9! Charming and suave Evan O’Dorney is up. He hits “laquear.” Then Nate Gartke, pride of the Great White North, comes in and spells “aboot.” Just kidding, hosers.

8:41 Nothing funny about aniseikonia, is there Joseph Henares? I’m starting the National Aniseikonia Foundation to bring and end to this obscure, unspellable malady.

8:46 Isabel is a goner. Just O’Dorney and Gartke left. Clearly it’s a battle of evil vs. evil. O’Dorney, the kid who doesn’t like spelling bees and just does it to make others feel inferior, against the cocky kid from Canadia, which I believe is not even part of the U.S. Oh, where is Akeelah when you need her?

8:53 Vituline is a total gimme for Gartke. I think the bee folks are setting up O’Dorney for defeat. I got a feeling O’Dorney and his whole family are going down.

9:02 The action is fast and furious now. O’Dorney and Nate Dogg (thanks, JSTL) aren’t even fazed by these words. And do they have to take commercial breaks after each round? Nate Dogg just screwed up. Did he say “zed” instead of Z? Is that some Canadian thing?

9:10 O’Dorney just won the spelling bee. And he hates it. And he hates all of you, too. The way I look at it, anyone whose favorite movie is Jumanji doesn’t have the right to feel superior to anyone.

Well, I guess that does it. O’Dorney winning just pretty much sucked all the joy out of it. I have a feeling O’Dorney will be back, if he can tolerate being there among these philistines. O’Dorney is going to be on one of the morning shows tomorrow, in case you want to hear more about his disdain for you and all you stand for.


  1. 8:35pm: Look at that! Nate Dogg asks for the definition and BOOM. Spells the word. Just like that. Doesn’t ask for origin. Doesn’t ask for a repeat. He steps up to the plate, calls his shot, and takes his swing!

    Oh no. I just went all Mike Golic with an unnecessary sports reference. My apologies.

  2. 8:34pm: That just shows a lack of class. Morgana the Kissing Bandit running out in the middle of the competition and kissing that kid, like that. There’s a time and a place for that sort of thing. And these kids should have their minds on spelling, and nothing else. Stick to the 1980s baseball stadiums, Morgana. Come on.

  3. 8:22: My new favorite word from the contest. Fauchard. Pronounced Fo-shar.

    Fauchard? Fo-sho.

  4. 8:15pm: Do you think this guy reading the words has utter disdain for the kids in the contest, because not only are they smarter than he is, but they flaunt it?

    I mean, this Joseph kid is just taunting him saying, “Does it come from the Latin combining form Trid, meaning 3?”

    “I don’t see that given here in the entry,” is how the guy responds.

    Dude, you got PWNED by the kid! He just put you on blast in front of the nation, and the best you can do is, “I don’t see that given here in the entry”?!

  5. 8:13pm: How sad. One kid has “Will Work For Food” written on the placard hanging from his neck.

  6. 7:57: Spelling Bee Drinking Game. Everytime a kid asks for the definition, you do a shot. Everytime they ask for the language of origin, you slam a beer. Everytime their parents do something embarassing on camera … you hug your parents and thank them for never entering you into televised spelling bees.

  7. 7:50pm: Poor kids. They can spell words like Genizah, but they don’t know how to high five.


  8. How long until Stu Scott tells one of the kids they’re cooler than the other side of the pillow?

    Over-Under is the next ten minutes.

  9. 7:45pm: Connor Spencer. By his name, he sounds like he should be a detective on a late-night Skinemax movie.

  10. This guy who reads the words and definitions sounds exactly like Peter Sarsgaard.

    If I close my eyes, I can trick myself into thinking I’m watching “Garden State.”

  11. 7:41: Of course, Mike Golic breaking out the sports comparisons. Spelling is like putting? Yeah, because of the double consonants followed by -ing?

    Next year, we need Madden and his telestrator.

  12. 7:37pm: These kids are going to have Pavlovian reactions anytime they hear a bell ring. They need a better method to tell them they got the word wrong.

    Someone will hit the bell at the receptionist’s desk at work when they get older, and they’ll fall to the ground whimpering.

    The bell will ring for class to start, and the kids will go to the fetal position.

  13. Joseph Henares, resident funny-man.

    Young Joseph had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand with his humorous stand-up routine before spelling his words. But then he tried out his Andrew Dice Clay material, and things quickly went sour.

  14. 7:26: Maybe they should just make these kids spell each others’ last names. They look like letters you have in front of you in Scrabble, not last names.

  15. 7:22pm: I can’t believe it. No Wang? No Dong? What kind of spelling bee competition is this?

    Dong flubbing that word is like Buckner letting the ball roll between his legs in the ’86 series. He’s never going to live this down.

    All bets are off, now.

  16. No! Wang came up short. I can’t believe this. Talk about an upset.

    All remaining money goes with Dong in this competition.

  17. 7:10pm: Can you repeat the word? Is it pronounced … ? Can you repeat it again? Is it G-Roll? I can’t understand. One more time, can you repeat the word?

    Evidently, next year Miracle Ear should be a sponsor.

  18. By the way, what kind of spelling bee is this? Right off the bat in the first nineteen seconds, they had a mis-spelling.

    Scripps National Spelling Bee.

    Uhm, everyone knows it’s spelled Scripts.


  19. What an upset with Patel getting bounced already, huh?! Talk about a bracket-buster! Nobody expected him to exit so early. I mean, how many people are sitting at home going red-marker crazy as they study their Spelling Bee Brackets? Luckily, I only had him winning his Elite 8 match-up, but losing in the Final Four. I feel terrible for all of the people who had him winning it all.

    I’m not a fan of Dong. So I’m pulling for Wang. Yes, Cody Wang over Anqi “Long Duck” Dong.

    This will never get old.

    Viva La Spelling Bee!

    PS: Steroid test those kids. As long as they aren’t on the juice, I think I can bench more than most of them. Seriously. I do.

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About Ryan Berenz 2045 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.