Scripps Spelling Bee kicks off in Orlando tonight, Jill Biden to visit finalists

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2019 Spelling Bee Finalists - PHOTO COURTESY SCRIPPS NATIONAL/FACEBOOK
  • Photo courtesy Scripps National/Facebook
  • 2019 Spelling Bee Finalists
The 93rd annual Scripps Spelling Bee national finals kick off in Orlando today for the first time ever. And First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is coming down to check out the action at Disney.

After being canceled last year for the first time in its long history, the Spelling Bee national finals have been relocated from the usual Washington, D.C.-area locale amid COVID-19 health considerations. Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex — also the home of the NBA and MLS bubbles last year — is the new stage for 2021.



The event will be broadcast on ESPN2 for vocabulary devotees to take in all the pride and pageantry, since the live audience is being kept very pared down. Eleven finalists from around the country will compete for a $50,000 prize.

Additionally, at least one part of Washington, D.C., will be coming to the Bee instead of the other way around, as Dr. Jill Biden will visit on Thursday to congratulate the finalists and meet their families ahead of the start of the competition. This isn't her first Bee; she visited the 2009 finals while part of the Obama Administration.



The Scripps Spelling Bee airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.



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