WASHINGTON D.C. -
Laughter. L-A-U-G-H-T-E-R. Laughter.
All jokes aside, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is serious business and the contestants feel an immense amount of the pressure when they approach the microphone and face the judges.
Letter-by-letter, they mime the spelling of the word on the palm of their hand or they silently mutter under their breath, working to merge the letters together to form the correct word. Some crack and others persevere.
While the game in serious, it takes some subtle humor from the judges to help ease the tension and lighten the mood. A quick smile from a contestant is all it takes.
Watch the video above to listen to some light-hearted jokes from past Scripps National Spelling Bee competitions.
The preliminaries air Wednesday May 29 at 7 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on ESPN3.
Semifinals air Thursday May 30 at 12 p.m on ESPN2.
The finals air that night at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
For more information, click here: http://www.spellingbee.com/