Can you spell drama?

Kates watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee again this year … It kind of snuck up on us, actually.

I didn’t like it initially. They glammed it up this year. There was a schmaltzy opening. Tom Bergeron was hosting. They marched the finalists onto the stage in colorful Gappy clothes -- not the white polo shirt spelling bee uniforms they’d worn in past years. And they began the televised version with just 12 finalists (I‘m pretty sure there were more the last two years), thus limiting the drama to a shorter window …

I was missing the days of Katharine Close.

But once we got to the spelling, there were indeed some good moments mixed with the sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat intensity … Particularly, there was the kid who couldn’t stop twirling his hair, even after he got his word wrong. When Sameer Mishra mistook the word “numnah” for num-nut. And smirky Tia Thomas, who finished third.

At least we still had hometown girl Kavya Shivashankar to cheer for … I really thought this was going to be her year, but she finished fifth.

In the end, it was likable little Sameer who won it all.

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