Amith Vasantha

Photo credit: KPIX-5 TV

Spelling Bee Finals Prove Elusive

KPIX/KCBS Winner Foiled In 7th Round

KCBS Radio Morning News
May 31, 2018 - 10:58 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KCBS Radio)--The winner of the KPIX-5 Bay Area Spelling Bee fell one word short of reaching the nationally-televised finals on Thursday, misspelling the word niaouli. Amith Vasantha, a 7th-grader at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley School, was among a handful of  Bay Area spellers remaining in the competition.

He spelled the word (which is a small irregular evergreen tree of the southwestern Pacific islands) niaule to fall out of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the 7th round. Amith had properly spelled kore, cembalist, widdershins, pyrotechnic and leukopenia in earlier rounds of the competition.

One round earlier, Rishik Gandhasri of Silver Oak Elementary School in San Jose  heard the dreaded bell signifying a misspelled word (hunanese instead of the correct Yunnanese).

Nidhi Vadlamudi of Stratford-Sunnyvale Raynor Middle School in Sunnyvale also left the competition in the 7th round (bohee instead of the correct bohea).

Anisha Rao of Eleanor Murray Fallon Middle School in Dublin survived the 7th round by correctly spelling neopterygian. ​

8th-grader Paul Hamrick of Salinas, representing the Monterey County Office of  Education, also survived the 7th round to reach the finals.