The best competitive kids on TV, including… a young Paul Walker?

05.28.15 3 years ago

Get out your OED, because the National Spelling Bee is back. Let's celebrate by revisiting some awesome competitive kids on TV. Get ready for an amazing Paul Walker cameo. 

1. Rebecca Sealfon screams to victory in the 1997 National Spelling Bee

Rebecca Sealfon owned the '97 National Spelling Bee when she correctly spelled “euonym.” The delirium is so damn special and unforgettable. Sealfon has since denounced the Bee because she says it devastates losing contestants, and while I sympathize, I'm glad she gave us this one-of-a-kind moment.

2. Leonard Cooper decimates the “Jeopardy!” Teen Tournament with the greatest Final Jeopardy! ever.

This is how you win a tournament. Leonard Cooper didn't know the answer to the World War II-themed Final Jeopardy! clue, so he just responded with, “Who is some guy in Normandy but I just won $75,000.” Alex's response is perfect: “You did indeed!” 

3. Remember when Paul Walker was on “I'm Telling”? 

He certainly was. Check out footage of the late actor, who had appeared on a couple of TV shows up until that point, with his sister as a contestant on the sibling-centric game show “I'm Telling.” 

4. Vanya on “Child Genius” can spell

“Child Genius” was both an entertaining show and kind of a dubious one. We watched as overbearing parents pressured their kids to study all day in preparation for an intelligence contest. Grim? Sort of. But we also got to meet some great kids: Here, Vanya — who would later win the whole competition — shows you what hard spelling is all about. 

5. God bless every child in this clip with Kellie Pickler.

Kellie Pickler played on a celebrity version of “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” That alone should stun you, but it gets worse: She thought Europe was a country, and she guessed that Budapest was the capital of France. Oh, Kellie. No. The footage of her elementary school teammates coming to terms with her “knowledge” is just stunning. 

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