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. Get ready to see Evan’s face everywhere, now. On the cover of “Weekly Reader.” Guesting on “Reading Rainbow.” Are “Mr. Wizard” and “You Can’t Do That On Television” on the air anymore? We may see him there also. Evan Whatshisname is going to be a household name for a long time to come. Or the next 36 hours. Whichever comes first.

    All right. I’m out. Miagi wants to show me how to drive a nail into a board with one swift swing of the hammer. Whatever. He also spends hours trying to catch flies with chopsticks.

    Hasn’t he ever heard of a flyswatter?

    Later all.

  2. 9:07pm: This is a travesty. Evan “007” O’Dorney beats out Nate Dogg. Even will put this trophy with the others on the “Competitions I Don’t Even Have Interest In” shelf of his.

    Once again, the bad boy wins. Evil prevails.

  3. 8:56pm: A Wendy’s ad using Air Supply’s “I’m All Out Of Love.” Possibly the greatest surprise of the evening. Someone’s been reading my diary.

  4. 8:53pm: Wait. Nate Dogg metaphorically picks the wings off the butterflies in his stomach while he’s waiting to spell? This guy’s even more hardcore than I thought! He’s a regular Hannibal Lecter.

    I have to go for Nate Dogg in the finals.

  5. 8:47pm: This is a finals for the ages.

    We have the Charming and Suave Evan O’Dorney in one corner. In the other is the thug himself, Nate “Dogg” Gartke. We have 007 vs. the Gangsta.

    I can’t wait!

  6. 8:43pm: Sorry CubicleQB … no more P.Kohli.

    I’ll miss him. And his almost-there mustache, which obviously drives the girls crazy back home in the 8th grade.

    P. Kohli, I pour out a little liquor for a fallen homey.

  7. 8:39pm: We get a TV spot for “Weekday Mornings on WISN News” … also known as the newscast which features Ms. Taylor Hicks, no not Patrick. Caroline.

    If you don’t catch this reference, you don’t visit enough paparazzi websites.

    Or I visit too many.

    This is what happens when Miagi isn’t around to make me paint his fence.

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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.