PHOENIX — After putting up a fight for the ages, both Arizona children competing in the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee will not be bringing back any trophies to the Valley.
Chandler, Arizona resident Marcus Behling was eliminated Thursday, despite not misspelling a single word on stage.
Organizers announced Thursday morning that only 10 competitors would move on from the semifinals, based on scores from the previous day’s spelling and vocabulary test.
Unfortunately, Marcus’s combined score placed him below the cutoff.
The 13-year-old swept viewers from all over the nation off their feet as he effortlessly spelled words such as “vernissage” and “apivorous.” He even shared the semifinal spotlight with his brother, Chandler High School student Mitchell Behling.
“Before I begin, can I give a shout-out to my brother, who graduated from high school yesterday as valedictorian?” Marcus said, as the audience cheered.
Before making it to Washington, Marcus won five competitions in Arizona and beat out more than 200 children to make it to the semifinals.
“I was pretty sure I had made it, but then when they didn’t call me until the very end I was so nervous,” Marcus said in an interview with Cronkite News.
The other Arizona student in the spelling competition, Chinle fifth-grader Kelvin Winney, was eliminated in the second round after misspelling “malihini,” a Hawaiian term for a stranger.
Kelvin, 10, was the youngest Navajo Nation winner ever to go to the national bee.
Luckily, neither Marcus or Kelvin are not walking away empty handed — all the semifinalists were given computer tablets while all the other contestants got vouchers for one.
The remaining 10 contestants will compete Thursday night.