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Spelling Bee Drama

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. On Thursday at 8:00 ET the finals will be held to determine the best speller in the country.

18 photos
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Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, gets a hug from her grandfather, after winning the National Spelling Bee. Calm and collected throughout, the 14-year-old from San Diego spelled "guetapens," a French-derived word that means ambush, snare or trap, to win the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee. Click to see more drama from the competition.
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Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, grins while holding her trophy after she won the National Spelling Bee with the word "guetapens."
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Vanya Shivashankar, 10, a semi-finalist, is the sister of 2009 champion Kavya Shivashankar. The younger Shivashankar was the only contestant this year to make a perfect score on the first round of the preliminary competition.
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Lori Anne Madison, 6, of Woodbridge, Virginia, the youngest participant ever to qualify for the bee, failed to make it past Wednesday's round. She incorrectly spelled the word "ingluvies," the crop of a bird or insect.
5/18
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Coralee Ashley Tibeingana Ahabwe Wade LaRue, of Vinyard Haven, Mass., spells her word during the third round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Naomi Li, 14, of Center Valley, Pa. thinks hard about how to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee.
7/18
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Vanya Shivashankar, 10, of Olathe, Kan., left, and Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, applaud fellow spellers after being announced as two of the 50 semifinalists in the National Spelling Bee.
8/18
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Dylan Bird, 13, of Pebble Beach, Calif., listens to fellow spellers during the National Spelling Bee.
9/18
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Sam Lowery, of Charlestown, Mass., spells his word in the air during round two.
10/18
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ESPN personality Samantha Steele reacts as she tries to spell a word.
11/18
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Philip Andrew Cummings of Oswego, N.Y., concentrates during the third round.
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Nejat Alkadir, 13, of Ledford, N.C., nervously spells her word during the third round.
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Nathan Dugan, of Canton, Ohio, spells his word "cantankerous."
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Dylan O'Connor, of Alexandria Bay, N.Y., spells his word during the second round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Nathaniel Britton, of Macomb, Mich., concentrates during the third round.
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Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, entertains herself while waiting to spell in the third round.
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Amber Born, 13, of Marblehead, Mass., pauses during the second round of National Spelling Bee.
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Spelling contestants walk back onto the stage for the third round of the National Spelling Bee.
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