Spelling Bee Winners: Friends Or Frenemies?

Nihar Saireddy Janga appeared to completely diss Jairam Jagadeesh


Spelling Bee 2016 Co-Champions

The big story out of last night’s SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE isn’t that the competition ended in a tie for the third year in a row.

Or that for the ninth time in as many years, there is an Indian American winner.

No, spelling fans, today the mainstream media — or at least on big city newspaper — is talking about the way 11 year-old co-champion Nihar Saireddy Janga appeared to completely diss fellow wordsmith Jairam Jagadeesh, 13, not once but twice!

With the 89th annual event nearly an hour past its anticipated wrap up time, Nihar and Jairam were the last men standing.

Per the New York Post:

Social media hasn’t stopped laughing at two instances where the younger Janga does little to hold back his disdain of his eventual co-champion.

In one clip, Halthwar is barely halfway through spelling “drahthaar” when the camera captures Janga aggressively shaking his head “nope,” in the background.

When a frustrated Halthwar sits back down, Janga claps his hands–directly in Halthwar’s face.

At the end of the competition, after Janga correctly spells his last word “gesellschaft,” Halthwar rushes the stage for a high-five– but is denied the victorious gesture.

The determined Halthwar goes in for a second attempt. And is denied again.

Halthwar eventually settles for a hug–which Janga still didn’t seem super into.

This year’s competition looked as if it could have gone on for another three hours — and perhaps it should have.

Would have been great to see the reactions when one of these young spellers came out clearly on top.

Check out the video below.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly