Spelling Bee finalists 2024: Meet the remaining spellers for Scripps National Spelling Bee finals

Dictionaries beware: The Scripps National Spelling Bee is here to tear you to shreds.

This year’s competition is as formidable as its ever been, with countless volunteers making their way into the neon-tinted halls of Baltimore’s National Harbor in the hopes of taking their place in history.

It promises to be a compelling event, filled with thrills, spills…and plenty of syllables. In the end, though, only a select few can compete for the crown of world’s best speller, let alone win it.

Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about eight competitors hoping to capture spelling glory in the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee finale.

Spelling Bee finalists 2024

Rishabh Saha

An avid explorer and video game enthusiast, Saha is jack-of-all trades, also filling his time with the sounds of piano, tuba, sousaphone, bells, and euphonium. He’s more of a mathematics guy than a linguist; however, it’s always nice to be well-rounded, and Saha has always taken kindly to new, increasingly inaccessible words.

Shrey Parikh

The San Bernardino, Calif., native is a former Spelling Bee contestant, finishing tied for 89th place in 2022. Two years later and Parikh’s interests remain intact. He’s a tennis connoisseur, a mystery and fiction lover, and a musician, as well, rising through the ranks on both the snare and drums.

Aditi Muthukumar

Sponsored by The Denver Post, Aditi Muthukumar returned to the site of her failure in 2024. Muthukukumar tied for 74th in the contest last year. She’s guaranteed a better finish this time around, however.

As an avid reader with a special eye for Jane Austen novels, Muthukukumar has an excellent grasp of the English language. She also shares an appreciation for Indian culture, having performed Indian classic dance in her hometown of Denver.

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Bruhat Soma

Soma is a veteran in the world of spelling, already competing in national bees in 2022 and 2023. He has a series of interests, from basketball — his favorite player is ageless wonder LeBron James — to badminton, ping-pong, drumming, and reading. What can’t Bruhat do?

YY Liang

A New York native with a passion for Avatar and Garfield, Liang is no stranger when it comes to high-profile competition, having also made a mark as a nationally-ranked junior tennis player. Liang also plays video games and draws during free moments.

Ananya Prassanna

As another former competitor, Prassanna comes into Thursday’s final with a treasure trove of experience. She finished tied for 49th place in 2022 and tied for 74th place in 2023 in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. In addition to spelling — practically a full-time job — Prassanna also shares an appreciation for Rick Riordan books, Marvel, and kathak, a traditional Indian dance.

Faizan Zaki

Zaki is arguably one of the most accomplished competitors still standing in this week’s contest, racing to a 21st-place finish last year. He’s a longtime speller – Zaki started competing for titles at the tender age of seven. 

Zaki also has plenty of interests worth looking into, from speed-running Rubik’s cubes to plucking the viola and learning new languages, particularly French, with his twin sister, Zara.

Kirsten Santos

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Such an idiom is something of a way of life for Santos, who represents the most successful of this year’s finalists. She’s two years removed from a fifth-place finish in the tournament. Although she wasn’t quite able to hit those heights in 2023, a 23rd-place finish wasn’t the end of the world.

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In addition to starring under the lights, Santos also is an avid musician, earning the honor of first chair violinist as a member of her school orchestra. She’s also a noted world traveler; Santos recently made the trek to the Philippines, her parents’ birth country. For her cat PomPom’s sake, let’s hope she’s able to put together a strong performance on Thursday night.

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