The second preliminary felt like kind of like an illicit, back-room, underground meeting since we weren't in the big theater. Nick and I schlepped the night before and gathered just about every chair that wasn't nailed to the ground and set up shop in the gallery. Anna worked the back bar so there were beers for all, and we introduced Jason Huddo (of Aquarium) as our new house "band". He helped us battle the noise from the Next Door show with keyboard accompaniment and MORE COWBELL. Hurrah for cowbell!
Winners for this round:
1st: Joseph McGill (every single word correct)
2nd: Michelle Robinson (aka cute red shirt purchased on ebay)
3rd: Alan "Hey Man" Heymann
Thanks for being such good sports, and even better spellers. Seriously, this time it was crucial: no misspellings were allowed (until the lightning round, or, "muscle for rank" round), so these champs beat some pretty slim odds.
Also, we got an email from one Joe Price
complaining about alleged "softballs" to some of the contestants. All I can say is this: we use Scripps National Spelling Bee words, which come from a very varied list. Words that are easy to some are hard for others, and vice versa.
The best place for whiners is in the audience- that means more room for spellers on stage!