It’s official; The OnPoint Community Credit Union Celebrity Spelling Bee presented by Comcast is just under a week away. In just Two days to be exact. Now, there’s been a lot of build up to this event. We’ve had the opportunity to get a Sneak Peak at the participating celebs. And a few choice words may have been thrown around between spellers. But today, we’re cutting through the trivialities. Today, we’re having a little fun by looking at who has the best chance to win this thing, and who could perhaps stage an upset. Today, is our Pre Bee Analysis.
As the 2013 defending champ, Zia McCabe is of course the resounding favorite. And, in fact, many of this year’s competitors have expressed their concern going up against her. Even John Erikson, a veteran of the Bee, has suggested that Zia might just be a member of Mensa. With incredible expertise over a wide range of vocabulary, and confidence literally worth a championship, the question becomes; who can knock off Zia McCabe?
The safest candidate would have to be Kyra Bussanich. Don’t let her being a cupcake baker fool you. This winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, and owner of Kyra’s Bake Shop is also a published author, and therefore knows her way around words. She’s also considered to be the speller to beat by many of the other competitors. Not necessarily because of her spelling abilities. Rather, for her baking. And they have point. The potential of a free and delectable cupcake could, indeed, play a real factor in the judges’ minds. Oh, and on more thing. This isn’t her first rodeo. Or should I say, “Bee?” Whatever you want to call it, Kyra is an experienced celebrity speller with some serious word skills, and is use to high pressure situations.
Some of the other competitors may feel that the odds are stacked against them with a slew of writers and editors participating this year. But lets remember, most individuals in that line of work are constantly relying on tools such as dictionaries and spell check. So just because someone is a writer or editor doesn’t necessarily make them a fantastic speller. The same can be said about Anchorman and Reporter, Reggie Aqui. Okay, so he might be good at reading off a teleprompter. But even newbie Tim Euhus questions this skill, openly stating with a smiling face, “I’m curious to see what will happen when he has to think on his own.”
Those who could really cause a stir in the competition, however, would have to be the new spellers. In particular Tim Euhus and Kodi Sawyer. Kodi is model, and Tim is a retired NFL tight end who now is a sportscaster. Unlike some of the other returning spellers, these two aren’t defending a championship or trying to redeem themselves. Rather they’re spelling without any pressure. Moreover, these two are fighters. Literally. Besides being a pro footballer and openly bashing Reggie Aqui, Tim was involved in a vicious lunch brawl in middle school, and Kodi used to be a wrestler during high school. Needless to say, these two are confident and know what it takes to fight their way to the top. So don’t be surprised if either of them burst out of the gate and find themselves deep into the contest… or at least intimidate the other spellers beforehand to ensure a win.
Now, this isn’t to say that the other contestants don’t have a shot. Ballerina Candace Bouchard is a returning veteran of the Bee. Such experience will unquestionably bode well for her, particularly early in the competition when facing first time spellers such as DJ Anjali Hursh and highly profiled rookie, C. J. McCollum. Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2013 at the ripe age of 21, the Shooting Guard has certainly lived up to his year book elected title of, “Most likely to Succeed.” But C. J. will need a little more than a superb jump shot if he wishes to succeed in getting past the opening rounds in this year’s Bee.
So who is going to steal away Zia’s spelling crown? Maybe it’ll be Kyra the cupcake baker, Margaret the Senior Copy Editor, Bouchard the Ballerina, or the DJ of Bollywood. Perhaps no one will, and Zia will begin to take the form of a dynasty. Of course an underdog story is always a thrilling one as well. But for all the speculation, all of the alluring suspense filled uncertainties that revolve around the night’s events, one thing is for certain; Zia’s got her work cutout for her to be crowned champion (aka the “Bees Knees”) once more.