Spelling bees are hot these days with several bee books, a Broadway show, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and three movies, the documentary “Spellbound,” “Bee Season” and now “Akeelah and the Bee.” ABC will broadcast the finals of this year’s National Spelling Bee, which starts tomorrow, in primetime, notes USA Today. Indo-Americans and homeschool children have dominated the bee in recent years.
One of the favorites for this year’s competition is 12-year-old Samir Patel of Texas, who is both of Indian descent and home-schooled. He tied for second last year, a bump up from tying for third when he was only 9.
Another speller to keep an eye on is Katharine “Kerry” Close of New Jersey, a public school eighth-grader who achieved the rare feat of making it to the nationals five times. She tied for seventh last year, beating 11th-place John Tamplin of Kentucky, the only other competitor to make a fifth appearance.
I saw the Broadway show a few weeks ago. I knew or guessed correctly the spelling of all but one word. I coulda been a contender,