Denver fifth-grader Dhivya Senthil Murugan made it to the 10th round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee before she misspelled "ephelides." According to dictionary.com that word means: "a small, brownish, well-circumscribed, stainlike spot on the skin occurring most frequently in red- or sandy-haired individuals." The spelling bee certainly broadens everyone's knowledge.
Sukanya Roy won the 84th Spelling Bee when she correctly spelled "cymotrichous." David Phan, a Longmont, CO, native also participated but faltered on the word "ocypode."
And if one was watching this, of course it had to be seen on ESPN. So the commentators make things worse when they try to banter and say silly stuff. At one point two of them wanted to have a smackdown over being called out for some mistake on national television. Or something. It's all noise one wants to tune out eventually.
I doubt I would ever want to read the dictionary as one of the finalists did. And if I did, I wouldn't want my reward to be a Justin Bieber contest. But all the props in the world to these kids for wanting to learn.