Twelve of the nation's best young spellers advances to the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Lamar Middle School's Lokesh Nagineni, 14, of Flower Mound and 13-year-old Ansun Sujoe from Bethesda Christian School in Fort Worth spelled two words correctly in front of a national television audience Thursday morning.
But only Sujoe's score on a computerized spelling and vocabulary test was high enough to make the final cut.
Sujoe joins Abilene's Kate Miller in the finals along with 10 others. 14-year-old Kate Miller was called out for her facial expressions.
Last year's third-place finisher, 14-year-old Sriram Hathwar of Corning, New York, will compete against 11 newcomers in the finals Thursday evening.
The highly touted Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, a three-time finalist whose older sister won the 2009 bee, was bounced in Thursday's semifinals. She spelled both words correctly onstage but didn't score highly enough on two computerized spelling and vocabulary tests to advance.
First-time National Spelling Bee participant Jacob Williamson of Cape Coral, Florida, sunk to his knees and pounded the stage after hearing his name called among the finalists. He says he was shocked that he made it and that Vanya did not.
The final will be broadcast live in primetime on ESPN.