The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to a handful of finalists in National Harbor, Maryland.
33 of 55 remaining spellers were eliminated in the quarterfinal round. In the last semifinal round, nine contestants misspelled words.
That means just 11 spellers made it through Wednesday's rounds, some of them pitted against their own friends in the battle of wits.
The competition has evolved over its nearly century-long history. It now incorporates meaning rounds, where spellers have to understand how to correctly use the words they're spelling, and a "spell off" speed round, which was added after the 2019 competition ran to an eight-way tie.
The high-stress competition takes its toll: Some spellers told Scripps News Wednesday what they were looking forward to most was a good night's sleep after several early mornings of competition.
Contestants will return to the final stage on Thursday, where the winner's trophy and a more than $50,000 prize purse are at stake.
The 11 remaining contestants are Pranav Anandh, 14, from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania; Vikrant Chintanaboina, 14, from San Jose, California; Arth Dalsania, 14, from Camarillo, California; Sarah Fernandes, 11, from Omaha, Nebraska; Surya Kapu, 14, from South Jordan, Utah; Aryan Khedkar, 12, from Rochester Hills, Michigan; Tarini Nandakumar, 12, from Round Rock, Texas; Shradha Rachamreddy, 13, from San Jose, California; Dev Shah, 14, from Largo, Florida; Dhruv Subramanian, 12, from San Ramon, California, and Charlotte Walsh, 14, from Arlington, Virginia.
You can follow the live broadcast of the Scripps National Spelling Bee final round on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, on the ION and Bounce channels, as well as streaming on the bee's website.
Scripps News is a subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Co., which runs the Scripps National Spelling Bee on a not-for-profit basis.
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