Initial rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee get tough

One speller ran off the stage in the middle of her time at the microphone, saying she needed to pee. Another tried to walk back to her seat after spelling her first word correctly, only to be reminded she had a vocabulary word next. During one particularly brutal stretch, 10 consecutive spellers heard the bell that signals elimination. The Scripps National Spelling Bee returned to its usual venue on Tuesday for the first time in three years, and spellers were greeted with a new preliminary-round format that gave them no time to get comfortable.

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