Kuvam Shahane correctly spelled "duchy" and "Bolshevik" for judges of the Scripps National Spelling Bee during preliminary rounds on Wednesday.
But that's where the bee ended for the seventh-grader: he was not among the semifinalists chosen to advance in the competition Thursday.
Kuvam, one of 278 spellers in the national competition in Maryland, was the winner of this year's Oakland Press Spelling Bee. On Wednesday after the competition, he told a writer from the newspaper that the experience had been exciting.
Although Kuvam spelled two words correctly on stage, a computerized spelling test held before the on-stage rounds weighed heavily toward the contestants' overall preliminary score.
Only one Michigan speller remains in the competition: Kavyapranati Pratapa, a seventh-grader from Ypsilanti.
The semifinalist competition begins Thursday at 10 a.m.; it will be broadcast live on www.espn3.com.