Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Kitty Shortt spells a word correctly during the third round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday.
Kitty Shortt spells a word correctly during the third round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me. It requires you to go through a nasty, badly designed process to verify that you get cable, and at least in my case, it just throws errors every time I try to complete it, so don't count on being able to watch that way.
We have a history with the Bee here; we've liveblogged it for the last two years, and we'd be doing it again tonight — except that I have a conflict. (It might be a screening of Prometheus. Just might.) But you will be relieved, and probably utterly shocked, to learn that I am not the only nerd at NPR.
Thus, our plan is that I'll be following it during the day today — we can talk about it here, and I'll also undoubtedly talk about it on Twitter — and then tonight, a bunch of other NPR nerds who also love the Bee will take over the coverage over at our news blog, The Two-Way, where you will be able to chat in the comments with a lovely selection of NPR types, including, I believe, some of our copy editors (DUN!). I personally think this sounds like great fun, and while I'll miss all of you, I'm sure you will be equally joyfully nerdy in this setting.
By the way, if you watched the Bee with me last year, do you remember Arvind? We loved him. We loved him. (Though in fairness, we tend to love all of them. There aren't really any villains in the Bee.) This is Arvind. He tied for third place last year, and here's the key line from his bio: "He can sing 'The Elements' song by Tom Lehrer." He is in the semifinals. Consider me Team Arvind. (Although I also love, love, love Vanya Shivashankar, whom I remember watching as an aspiring wee thing back when her sister Kavya was the 2009 champion.)
So check back — chat in the comments, and head to The Two-Way this evening for the finals.