The National Spelling Bee Turned Into An Emotional Bloodbath As One Contestant Mercilessly Mocked Another

When we were kids, and social media didn’t follow our every move, the National Spelling Bee was something most of us didn’t really care about. Sometimes, a kid from your school would get to leave town for a few days to go to regionals or nationals, but it’s definitely not something people followed on television or talked about as if it were a sporting event that was not to be missed. Now, things are different. Yesterday, the spelling bee’s official account shut down a troll, and a co-champion made headlines after throwing up the X after his win. New footage, however, shows a much darker side of the event and provides some real context for why the kids need that comfort couch.

Check out the below video, which shows 11-year-old Nihar Janga (one of the co-champions) bringing some real “psych out” action to his opponent Jairam Hathwar (who ended up sharing the title with him).

First of all, look at how messed up Nihar’s face is as he’s shaking his head no during the spelling! What are you doing kid? That’s not how you play this game! You’re supposed to be chill and respectful. Can you imagine standing up there trying your best to spell a word no one actually uses in real life while your opponent is mocking you as you mess up? How many of us would just burst into tears out of frustration immediately?

And then there’s the clapping. Even if these kids are friends — and I can assure you they’re not because Nihar seems like the kind of guy who doesn’t have many friends due to his attitude — there’s no excuse for getting all up in your spelling opponent’s face. This is spelling! Why are you doing this? We live in a society!

Bro Bible suggests that they wouldn’t be able to stop themselves from punching the kid if they were the ones being mocked, and you gotta admit that would absolutely cross your mind. Thank god Nihar’s opponent had some restraint, although watching a fist fight between two pre-teens would definitely make the Spelling Bee an even bigger draw next year.