Scripps Announces A Huge Mega Cast For The National Spelling Bee





Bee Week is almost here! The Scripps National Spelling Bee is bringing 231 nationally qualified spellers to the competition hosted in National Harbor, Maryland running from May 30th to June 1st, 2023. Preliminary rounds as well as quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final round will be conducted at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

Bee Week will air on ION and Bounce: 

  • The preliminaries will be streamed on ION Plus, Bounce XL, and from 9 a.m. to 7:25 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30th.
  • The quarterfinals will be streamed on ION Plus, Bounce XL, and from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31st.
  • The semifinals will be streamed on ION Plus, Bounce XL, and from 2:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31st. A special semifinals broadcast will air on ION and Bounce later that evening from 8-10 p.m.
  • The finals will air live in primetime on ION and Bounce from 8-10 p.m. on Thursday, June 1st. 

Spellers range from 9 to 14 years old and come from all 50 states, as well as the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. For 80 percent of the contestants, this is their first Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

Last year’s finalists, Kirsten Tiffany Santos of Houston, Texas, and Surya Kapu from Salt Lake City, Utah, are returning to face off once again after tying for fifth place. Akash Vukoti will also return for a record-setting sixth time. 

“Bee Week is a truly unforgettable experience, combining the thrill and accomplishment of onstage competition with the joy of making lifelong connections offstage,” says Corrie Loeffler, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “This year, the Bee will continue its tradition of capturing hearts and inspiring big dreams with a refreshed look: We’ve updated our logo with a new design that’s both bold and playful – indicative of the Bee spirit at every level of competition. New, vibrant branding will be woven throughout the halls of the Gaylord and across the TV programming. Fans watching along at home will see some familiar faces featured on and this year’s broadcasts, celebrating what makes the Bee so captivating: our spellers.” 

Bee Week will also give special recognition for: 

  • 2023 Educator of the Year, presented by SugarBee® Apple: Gina Calhoun, an eighth-grade teacher at Ashe County Middle School in Warrensville, North Carolina. Calhoun has served as the school’s spelling bee coordinator for the past eight years. 
  • 2023 Regional Partner of the Year: Ruth Keim, coordinator for regional partner WITF Public Media, a Pennsylvania PBS affiliate. Keim has developed Central Pennsylvania’s spelling bee program over the past 26 years.
  • 2023 Regional Volunteer of the Year: Daniel Notman, volunteer pronouncer for the Central Texas regional spelling bee organized by Rapoport Holdings, LLC. Notman is a project manager in the office of the president of Baylor University. 

In addition, Defy TV, Grit, ION Mystery, and Laff will also be broadcasting the semifinals and final round, which will air again on Scripps News on June 2nd from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. and June 3rd from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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