Like I said, I love this event. Here's some video.
But first, some intense, sabermetric details about the Semifinals, which begin at 10 a.m. Round One was a 25-word test, although spellers were given 50 words, not knowing which 25 would count. Each word was worth one point. The 293 spellers then tromped up on stage in several groups, each receiving one word in Round Two and one word in Round Three. Those words were worth three points each, and the field romped; 265 got the money-ball in Round Two, and 211 got the bonus in Round Three. That's why they were all saying how easy things had been.
If you missed a word on stage, you weren't necessarily eliminated. You needed 28 points (minimum) to advance to today, which means you could have gotten 22 out of 25 on the test, and then aced both stage words, or a perfect score on the test and one blip on the stage, and still been ok.
The 25 Round One words: abyss, affluent, arrogance, asylum, calque, cemetery, civitas, congenital, cubicle, decor, isthmus, limousine, Micawber, mores, onychorrhexis, parody, quomodo, rebuttal, scalene, secede, sedentary, thorough, vacilliatory, verbiage, warrant. Most of us, I assume, would have done fairly well, but not quite well enough to advance. That's the goal, I assume: to identify the truly unique.
That would be 41 spellers who are about to spell for their lives. Not literally.
Now here's that video. Most of the folks I talked to, sadly, did not advance to the semifinal 41.