2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals air live Thursday, May 31, on ESPN.
Over 270 spellers ranging in age from 6 (yes, 6) to 15 and spanning the globe will come to Washington, D.C., to have their knowledge of the lexicon put to the test at the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Dr. Jacques A. Bailly is back to pronounce the words and use them in sometimes amusing sentences. Last year, 14-year-old Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pa., correctly spelled “cymotrichous” — a fancy way to describe hair as “wavy” — to win the title.
ESPN televises the Bee for the 19th straight year. TV coverage begins with the semifinals on Thursday, May 31, at 10am ET on ESPN2. ESPN airs the finals beginning at 8pm ET on Thursday. ESPN3 has a play-along simulcast that doesn’t display the word being spelled so viewers can try to spell the words at home. SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele hosts with former Bee finalist Paul A. Loeffler as TV word analyst. College sports reporter Samantha Steele makes her Spelling Bee debut as a reporter.