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Isabelle Simmons concentrates on spelling "virgule." / Jack Gruber, USA TODAY

It's a tense competition. It's written right on their faces.

Thursday night on live TV, tweens and teens from across the country stepped up to the mic in front of a packed ballroom to try their best to correctly spell complicated words.

It was a rigorous path to the finals, with rounds of regional and state spell-offs, written tests and, if you're lucky, a trip to the D.C. suburbs for the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee. But that doesn't guarantee a spot on TV.

More competitions have played out over the week, and a dozen contestants (there were 281 at the beginning of the week) competed live on ESPN for the championship.

In the end, Ansun Sujoe and Sriram Hathwar shared the title.

Besides all the fun "can I hear that in a sentence" jokes this year, the stage was tense. Here are a few of our favorite faces from this week's battle:

Deep in thought...


If you're unsure, type it out.

Just having some fun on national TV.

The look of relief after getting another one right.

"Bildungsroman." See the word.

"Taupe." Sound it out.

"Virgule." You've got this!

We know it's a long wait. Keep your head up, buddy!

Way to go, spellebrities!



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Our favorite funny faces from the National Spelling Bee

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