Some Good And Practical Ideas For Making Sure The Spelling Bee Never Ends In An Eight-Way Tie Again

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Did you know that eight different children won the National Spelling Bee last night? Yeah, eight! A tween octet spelled 47 words correctly in a row, and because the Spelling Bee got rid of tiebreakers this year after having them in written form for the last two years, they all have to share in an unprecedentedly diluted victory.

Here’s the puny reasoning behind the lack of cutthroat, championship-deciding final rounds last night, according to Spelling Bee executive director Paige Kimble:

“We quickly learned it was hard on the spellers. It was hard on us. It made it difficult for all of the production pieces that needed to be done for the primetime broadcast to get done,” Kimble said. “It was just squeezing way too much in a short timespan when really what these kids needed more than anything else was to rest a little bit, put food in their stomachs and clear their heads for the evening.”


I disagree. Look at that trophy up there! That’s not enough trophy to go around. These kids can eat later! Tiebreakers need to return to the Bee, and I’d like to offer my services to help make that happen. Here are some ideas the organizers should adopt to make sure best-speller honors won’t be shared by a group the size of Arcade Fire ever again.

  • The kids each have to spell one word out loud while writing a different word simultaneously.
  • Switch the main judge out for a guy with an incomprehensible Scottish accent.
  • Punt, pass and kick contest.
  • Contestants have to take a shot of vodka every time they ask for language of origin.
  • A Royal Rumble featuring every competitor from the entire day, their entry order determined by when they got eliminated.
  • All the nerds still alive get disqualified. The previous kid who got eliminated wins.
  • The contestants are shipped off to a juvenile detention camp in the desert, where they must dig a hole every day until one of them finds buried treasure.
  • Contestants must spell the names of players from the WHL draft.
  • Whichever contestant can steal the trophy, fight off security, and escape without being stopped is the victor.
  • Give each contestant a dog. Make the dogs run an obstacle course. Fastest dog wins.
  • Contestants each plant a tree outside and return in five years to determine whose is taller, a la the game Arboretum.
  • Staring contests.
  • Speed round! You get 12 seconds to spell a word, and during that time the judge yells, “SPELL IT NOW! NOW NOW NOW!” into his microphone.
  • The contest goes on as normal, except with a hive of angry bees released on stage.
  • Hot dog eating contest.
  • Contestants take turns hitting each other on the head with dictionaries until only one is left standing.
  • Contestants have to spell words as if they’re being said by a native Philadelphian (i.e. “Water” must be spelled “Wooder”).
  • Goal differential.