21 competitors left in National Spelling Bee (+ video)

By Ben Nuckols

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 31 2012 11:55 a.m. MDT

Lori Anne Madison, 6, of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest speller ever to compete in the National Spelling Bee, reacts after misspelling her word, ingluvies, in the third round of the bee in Oxon Hill, Md., on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. She will not be moving on to the semifinals.

Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

OXON HILL, Md. — After two semifinal rounds, the National Spelling Bee field has been cut to 21 competitors.

Those still remaining included the sister of the 2009 winner, one five-time participant and two international spellers.

Nine were eliminated in the first semifinal round, and another 20 went out in the second round.

Ten-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kan. was the only speller to earn a perfect score in the preliminary rounds. She appeared to have little trouble spelling "mumpsimus" and "mascalage." Her sister, Kavya, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee three years ago.

Nicholas Rushlow of Pickerington, Ohio, has been in the bee every year since 2008. He also got through the first two words. He's wearing the same yellow polo shirt he's donned the past three years.

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