Are the National Spelling Bee Results Becoming More Predictable?

The Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals unfold this week, and the Associated Press has just published an interesting article that suggests it is becoming easier to predict who will win the famous competition.

Here is some food for thought:

  • Spectators who follow the National Bee closely also watch the competitions that lead up to the finals. This gives them a better insight into who the top performers are.
  • It is undeniable that spellers who participate in the North South Foundation preparation program end up doing better on the finals stage. This nonprofit foundation hosts national competitions for Indian-Americans in a variety of academic fields. The last 10 National Spelling Bee winners have participated in the foundation’s spelling bee.

So who are this year’s favorites to win the big prize?

  • Shourav Dasari, a past North South Foundation and South Asian Spelling Bee champion whose older sister came close several times;
  • Siyona Mishra, who won last year’s South Asian bee and finished 9th in her only National Spelling Bee appearance;
  • Tejas Muthusamy, who’s making his fourth appearance, with two previous top-10 finishes.

Even if one of the favorites ends up winning, the bee still has plenty of surprises. Last year, Shourav was also highly touted, but he misspelled a word and fell just short of the prime-time finals.

For viewing details, be sure to check out ESPN MediaZone.

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