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Episode 9: The Scripps National Spelling Bee podcast

Posted at 10:52 AM, May 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-28 10:52:00-04

For spelling fans, #BeeWeek is the most wonderful time of the year. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the yearly pinnacle of linguistic competition, and this podcast is your home for all the excitement.

On today’s program, we’ll cut right to the chase and feature two of the top spellers in this year’s competition.

First up, Vanya Shivashankar, younger sister of 2009 Champion Kavya and winner of the Lifetime game show “Child Genius.” This year, Vanya is relishing her fifth and final trip to the Bee, posing for pictures and interviews, and competing in the semifinals as Speller #90.

Also on today’s show, we’ll hear from a young man who finished agonizingly close to the summit in 2014. Gokul Venkatachalam opened a lot of eyes last year by finishing as first runner-up behind co-champions Ansun Sujoe and Sriram Hathwar. In his final year of Bee competition, Gokul slam-dunked the written vocabulary test, earning a perfect score on his way to the semis as Speller #140.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee podcast is your home for features and fun on the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We’ll be live-tweeting all week using the hashtag #BeeWeek. Find use on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as @SpellingBeePod or on our Tumblr page at

To catch up on the entire series, make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or the podcast app of your choice. You can also listen directly from the Scripps National Spelling Bee app Buzzworthy.

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