The National Spelling Bee is high drama. It's completely engrossing. The intensity and pressure and emotion during the Bee is like nothing else. And there's opportunity for high comedy. I was trying to find some recent YouTube clips and this one came up over and over, so I'll put it here even though the whole "did that sound like the N-word?" humor is a little bit tired. Still, it's these kinds of facial expressions I'm looking forward to.
One of the things about this particular Bee I'll also be looking out for is the international presence.
Competitors are welcome from any country as long as there is an English-speaking newspaper or a similar organization willing to sponsor a local bee. Jiwon [Seu] won the contest in South Korea sponsored by Yoon's English Academy in Seoul.
Jiwon began an interview by saying "I can't speak English very well," but it soon became clear she was being modest. She studied the language in school from an early age and enjoys spotting new words and spelling them in her notebook.
I'll tell you right now that if a native English speaker takes this week's bee, I'll be irritated. Once I get the broadcast times figured out, we are gonna Open Thread this mofo big time.