Don't mess with Spelling Bee fans. Longtime Bee-watchers are angry about the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee, calling this year's event the "worst" one ever.
After 27 years on ESPN, the Scripps National Spelling Bee moved to Scripps-owned broadcast networks Ion and Bounce for 2022. But after watching Thursday night's Finals, many viewers weren't happy about the switch, as they claimed the broadcast was filled with commercial breaks and too-frequent hosting commentary. "These kids deserve way better," one viewer wrote. "Absolute trash bee."
Hey @ScrippsBee: this is the WORST #SpellingBee final I’ve seen since I started watching in the mid 90s and it’s all because of your stupid new rules and the 45 minutes of ads per hour on the broadcast. These kids deserve way better. Absolute trash bee.— The Ⓐtomic Ⓔlbow (@atomic_elbow) June 3, 2022
Worst #SpellingBee ever! Practically unwatchable with all of the commercials and unnecessary commentary. The vocabulary round this late in the game is also ridiculous. It's a spelling bee not a vocabulary bee.— Katie Hanway (@KHanway13) June 3, 2022
is anyone else ready to turn the channel on all these God damn commercials? #SpellingBee— TwitRsuspendedmeBUTnotTRUMP (@twit_tnot) June 3, 2022
They are literally spelling one word every ten minutes. This coverage is terrible. #SpellingBee— Sara (@plutoflamingo) June 3, 2022
“Let’s squeeze a quick commercial break in.” Don’t you mean let’s squeeze a quick spelling word in? #SpellingBee— Andi (@andicjay) June 3, 2022
Watching TV commercials tonight and sometimes they will show a clip of the National #SpellingBee in between. Pretty cool!— Amber Born (@amberborntweets) June 3, 2022
Fans willing to sit through the frequent commercial breaks were treated to quite a show. For the first time ever, the final two contestants, Harini Logan and Vikram Raju, competed in a spell-off, which tested how many words they could spell correctly in 90 seconds. When all was said and done, 14-year-old Logan spelled 21 out of 26 words correctly, beating Raju, who got 15 out of 19 correct. Logan's victory earned her the National Spelling Bee trophy and a check for $50,000, not to mention eternal bragging rights as the first spell-off champion.
Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.