Katharine Close Is Smarter Than Us All; Chris Connelly, Not So Much

The guts, the glory, the silent consonants: nothing compares to the bloodthirsty competition of a spelling bee. Last night the Scripps National Spelling Bee had its first primetime, live airing on ABC, and New Jersey's 13-year-old Katharine Close took home the dorkily awesome crown. Her winning word was "ursprache," beating out 14-year-old Finola Hackett, a Canadian girl who blew it all on "weltschmerz." Stupid girl, but that's justice — this is our national spelling bee. Get your own, America Jr.

While it was hard not to get a little teary when you saw Katharine's face erupt in joy upon her win ("Finally, I can have a real life!"), the real highlight was announcer Chris Connelly, whose gray hair and awkward cadence may not be hip enough for MTV but most certainly qualifies him for spelling bee color commentary. When runner-up Hackett — who 10 minutes earlier had been identified as half Chinese — was on a winning streak, Connelly noted, "The Tokyo Bride does it again!" (Or at least that's what it sounded like. We'd hate to think even the MTV movie guy would be so stupid.)

And as this chapter of linguistic glory draws to a close, we'll leave you with an adorably fitting correction that hit the AP wire last night:

BC-Spelling Bee, 10th Ld,190
New Jersey 13-year-old wins national spelling bee, first girl since 1999
Eds: SUBS lead and 3rd graf to CORRECT spelling of Katharine Close.

13-Year-Old N.J. Girl Wins Spelling Bee [AP]