The Scripps National Spelling Bee finals are tonight, with a broadcast on ABC primetime. You can see the latest round results online, as well as the words those brights kids were given and how they spelled them (we totally would have spelled "opeidoscope" as "opydoscope"). Alas, NYC's two entrants did not make it to later rounds. The Daily News selected Ryan Mowbray of Staten Island and Yu Jin Jung of Queens to head to the DC for the event. Mowbray was stumped by "apolaustic," spelling it "a-p-o-l-o-s-t-i-c." And since apolaustic means "devoted to enjoyment," he told the Daily News, "You could call it irony, something not too happy coming from a word about happiness. I went further than even I expected, so I'm happy." Hey, Ryan, you can spell about a million times better than we do, so take that for what it's worth.
Jung, who only moved to Queens from South Korea four years ago, said, "I came here not really hoping to win it, just hoping to experience it. Now that I got a taste of what a national bee is like, I'm actually going to study." Aw. Check out our post on the documentary Spellbound. And The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee had Reverend Al Sharpton as a guest speller during last year's Tonys!
Update: Katharine "Kerry" Close from Spring Lake, NJ beat out Finola Hackett of Edmonton, Alberta to become the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion! She's the first winner from NJ and the first girl to win since 1999. 1010 WINS reports, "Close correctly spelled 'kundalini' in the 19th round, but Hackett incorrectly spelled 'weltschmerz.' After spelling 'ursprache' in the 20th round, Close was named the national spelling champion." Gothamist admits we had to change channels during the last rounds - it was nerve wracking! Anyway, go Kerry and Finola!