Canadians gathering to tear their hair out and yell at the TV during Hockey Night in Canada tonight may want to save a little bit of that energy for tomorrow, when a different sort of showdown gets underway: Spelling Night in Canada returns to CBC TV on Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET, and only the strongest of this nation's spellers will survive to the finish.
Spelling Night in Canada marks the culmination of the 2012 Postmedia Canspell spelling bee season, and the winners will represent Canada at the Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in June. Close to 1,000 students started off this year's competition, but only 21 have made it this far.
Will the spelling of "sesquipedalian" cause someone to stumble, as it did in last year's Scripps final? Will "ratatouille" rank as a spoiler yet again? Or will someone (ahem) sneak the word "Stroumboulopoulos" into the proceedings once again, just to see what will happen - as the following clip from last year's Spelling Night in Canada shows?
This year's Spelling Night in Canada will be hosted by CBC's Brent Bambury and Hockey Night in Canada's Jim Hughson, alongside with Scripps Bee commentator Paul Loeffler. Peter Mansbridge and Rex Murphy will be on hand to help with the rules, and Gerry Dee and Coach's Corner will also appear.
There may also be a dark horse contestant on hand to show up this year's crop of kids - namely YOU, should you opt to play along and pit your spelling skills against those of Canada's best-spelling Grade 8 students, using Social Buzz Bee. Just log in to (or sign up for) your Twitter account and reply to @spellingnight with your spelling of every word. Whoever spells the most words correctly during the broadcast will win!
You can get your skills up to speed ahead of time, too, by checking out the spelling games on the Spelling Night in Canada Facebook page, and by taking a look at this highlight clip from last year's contest:
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