The 4 grand finalists of the Spellmaster have finally evolved after 8 months of tense competition. 2 students each from Colombo and Galle and 1 each from Kandy and Gampaha (three girls and three boys) were the 6 spellers left to battle it out for the last time before the grand finals.
Rochelle Silva of Holy Cross College Gampaha and Nimeshi Dissanayake of Sanghamitta Balika Vidyalaya Galle both said it felt great to be part of the Top 6 in the competition. Nimeshi's sister who was part of the audience said she was very proud of Nimeshi, as her sister as well as an old girl of the school.
Senuri Sahabandu of Sacred Heart Convent Galle speaking at the commencement of the competition said she's enjoying the competition but stressed out. Her mother said she was very happy Senuri got so far and thanked the organizers, judges and everyone working behind the scenes for such a great show. Nazhad Farook of Trinity College and in jest said it was tradition to be called for the competition last minute from the school and to up moving up in the competition, referring to last year's Spellmaster who was also from Trinity College, Sarith Bandara, who faced the same situation.
This time around contestants had to go through three rounds of words in order to determine who would be eliminated. In the 1st round contestants had to select two words from a selection of 5 categories, namely, Science, Culture, Nature, Business and General, they were not permitted to pick the same category twice. In the 2nd round, they had to select from a pool of 50 words and for the 3rd round contestants had to go through the "rapid fire" around, which was dreaded by all of them. All six spellers breezed through the first round spelling both words given to them correctly, "Science" proving to be the category most preferred by all the contestants.
The 2nd round proved to be hard luck for Nazhad as he was the only contestant who misspelled the word "Desultory" given to him. This meant he would have to do extremely well in the rapid fire round, which he said he would rather not have every week if he could choose, if he was to secure a seat to the grand finals.
Spelling a total of 18 words correct at the end of the three rounds, was Nazhad, the dark horse of the competition, who scored the highest despite his slip-up in the second round. Following closely behind, having spelt 17 words correct was Archana Perera of St. Peter's College, who said he gave his "best shot" and he hopes he "advanced one more spot than last year". Vasika who "hates" the rapid fire round and finds it stressful and said he's full of "nerves" during the round, scored sixteen words right. Considering the rapid fire round to be "not her thing" and expecting to bow out of the competition, Nimeshi spelled a total of fourteen words correct. However, it was instant death for Rochelle and Senuri, both scoring the minimum.
On her loss, Rochelle said "this is God's will so she'll accept it" and thought Spellmaster
was a great competition and enjoyed taking part in it. Senuri voicing her thoughts on the competition said it was an "awesome competition", that it "makes you think about things you don't think about, like spellings." She continued to say that you need a lot of luck to get through, that she knew most of the words and her luck's run out. Furthermore, stating.
that the competition "tests nerves" and it gives the contestants a better view on culture and language. Spellmaster has finally reached the end, with four contestants left to battle it out for the ultimate title. Archana said it was a "dream come true" and that he moved one step forward in the competition. Nimeshi never thought she would get in and didn't think she did well in the rapid fire round; she thanked her friends, who she said wanted her to get into the grand finals in the hope of appearing on TV, her mother, sister and teacher who came with her for every competition. Nazhad said he was "happy, euphoric and other synonyms for happy" and that he'll definitely have a cheering squad from Kandy at the finals. Keep watching Sirasa TV every Sunday from 6 pm - 7 pm to witness the nerve wrecking excitement as the final 4 fight it out for the title of "Spellmaster".
The following are the names of the Top 4;
J. Archana Perera
Sanghamitta Balika Vidyalaya Galle
St. Thomas College Mount Lavinia
St. Peter's College Colombo 4
Trinity College Kandy