Julissa Negron advances to the quarterfinals at National Spelling Bee


Julissa asked only one question before she correctly spelled "salvific" at the end of the preliminary round at the National Spelling Bee on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, about 4 p.m.

Julissa Negron, about to finish eighth grade at Roscoe Middle School, made it through the three preliminary rounds on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She moves on to the quarterfinals on Wednesday morning, May 31, 2023, which will be aired from 7 a.m. to noon. Semifinals are scheduled for 1:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday evening.

In the afternoon's combined preliminary round, at about 4 p.m., Julissa was given the word "salvific," which means "having the intent or power to save or redeem." Unlike almost all the other spellers, who may have wanted more time to think, Julissa had only one question, asking whether the word came from the Greek. Chief pronouncer Dr. Jacques Bailly informed her that, no, it came from Latin instead. Undaunted, Julissa went on to spell it correctly.

Each round, except the finals, is being livestreamed on https://spellingbee.com/ and is free to watch on ION, which is streaming on Tubi and Pluto, through ION Plus and Bounce XL. In Winnebago County, the finals will also be available on cable, WIFR, DISH, and DIRECTV and streamed on Tubi and Pluto on Thursday, June 1, 2023, from 7 to 9 p.m. The finals will not be broadcast on the Spelling Bee website.

This week, 229 spellers and their families are at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center near the nation's capital.

In the Tuesday morning preliminary rounds, each young person was asked one spelling word and one word meaning question. Almost 100 contestants were eliminated in the first two rounds, leaving 139 to advance, including Julissa. Shortly after 9:45 a.m., Julissa correctly spelled "calusar" (though it's pronounced with an "sh" sound) and knew she might encounter a "bonsai" ("in a greenhouse"). 

The third round was scheduled to run from 3:25 to 6:25 p.m. Central Time. No one was eliminated until the 30th speller. Of the 139 who started the round, 19 were eliminated and 121 are advancing to the quarterfinals. Julissa was called to the mic about 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and succeeded with "salvific."

In the spelling rounds, spellers have 90 seconds to correctly spell a word once it has been pronounced. Spellers can ask the official pronouncers for hints, such as the word's definition or language of origin, until the final 15 seconds of their turn.

In the word meaning rounds, which were introduced onstage in 2021, spellers are given 30 seconds to answer a multiple-choice question about the definition of a word. They can't ask other questions.

More about the National Spelling Bee

Julissa Negron in the semifinals at Scripps Spelling Bee

At the National Spelling Bee, Roscoe teen moves ahead to the semifinals

Julissa Negron advances to the quarterfinals at National Spelling Bee

Julissa Negron sails through first two rounds of Scripps Spelling Bee

Roscoe Middle School's Julissa Negron heads for National Spelling Bee

Julissa Negron is on her way to Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington DC

Roscoe's Avani Joshi ties for 7th place in National Spelling Bee

More Spelling Bee photos on Flickr

Click, tap, or swipe on the photo below to view more images from the National Spelling Bee.

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"That is correct," says Dr. Kavya Shivashankar, backup head judge. She was Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion in 2009.
Photo: E. M. Pio Roda / Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Photo: E. M. Pio Roda / Scripps National Spelling Bee.
In blue: pronouncer Dr. Jacques Bailly prepares for the Bee. Photo: E. M. Pio Roda / Scripps National Spelling Bee.
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