And the Winner is...V-I-L-A-N-D-R-A!

The undisputed Queen Bee, of our first Bahasa Basudara Spelling Bee Contest on Saturday 10th April was Vilandra Maitumu from Ambon. She flew off with the first prize, a trophy and voucher, closely followed by Raphael Timisela from Sorong who finished 2nd and Nadlif Pelu from Ambon in 3rd place.  They too went home with a trophy and vouchers and will meet Vilandra again in the Grand Final in December. Izarra Lainsamputty from Bekasi claimed the 4th spot, whilst the youngest speller, Reagan Sanjaya from Masohi, Seram finished in a very admirable 5th place.

Ready, steady, go…

Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ shook the Beehive into action, and we were thrown into the capable hands of host Tirsa Kailola, who confidently and competently presented the contest. After a few introductory videos of the participants and a short video by Natalia Main, who clearly spelled out what a Spelling Bee was, we were given a short summary of the house rules and the rules of the contest. Bahasa Basudara founder Jeff Malaihollo officially opened the contest with a  few words of encouragement, and then took up his role as Pronouncer. He was assisted by three judges: David Maitimu (not related to Vilandra) in Jakarta, Maria  Main-Matulessy in London and Richard de Fretes in The Hague.

A few weeks before the contest, the Spellers had been given four different articles and together with their tutors were able to practice the words that they would be spelling during the contest. Have a look at the attachment where you can find the articles and the words if you want to have a go at it yourself.  There were  some nervous jitters in the first round and even though some were eliminated, the judges quickly decided during the break (a video of the Amboina Ukulele Community Kids was shown) to give everyone another chance in the second round.

We were all winners
After having shaken off their nerves, they all performed a lot better in the second round and third round, but as in any competition, unfortunately, not everyone would make it to the fourth round. There was another musical performance by local singer Fifi and the quiz with questions taken from the four articles was won by Fyolitha Wakanno, with Khadijah Karepesina and Anabel Lilihata in 2nd and 3rd place. During the fifth and final round, the Spellers were given a combination of practised and randomly picked words. Vilandra spelled all the words correctly again and was soon declared the ultimate winner. The ‘Happy’ song by Pharrell Williams, got everyone going in the end and some of the participants could be seen dancing to the music.  

Even though there could only be 5 winners, much praise should also go to the other 13 spellers (Adeline, Naifa, Vellya, Avril, Cindy, Victory, Fyolitha, Khadija, Tachista, Cynthia, Putri, Aryasuta and Axl), who in our eyes were also Winners. To participate in the first Bahasa Basudara online Spelling Bee Contest took courage and confidence. All Spellers will receive their unique Bahasa Basudara Spelling Bee certificate, which was designed by Boya Latumahina and Ruben Manusama.

Spelling Bee with a twist

Unlike a normal Spelling Bee, it had been a real challenge to put the concept of this online contest into realisation and it took a few meetings to finally get all the logistics in order. Bahasa Basudara certainly couldn’t have done it without Daya Lima. We’re particularly grateful that Linda Umar, Vonan and Andi (big applause), were involved again in the organisation of this first-ever Spelling Bee. They worked non-stop and tirelessly behind the scenes (like worker bees), to make sure it all ran as smoothly as possible. Even an earthquake (felt in Surabaya) at the start of the contest didn’t seem to faze them. So, thank you again!

We will be working on some minor changes for the next contest,  but overall, it had been a valuable learning process for everyone involved. Do let us (click on the link) or your tutor know if you want to have another go at it - the next Spelling Bee on Saturday 24th of July 2021.

And finally...

Here are two Golden Tips from the Winner Vilandra who is a big Spelling Bee fan and has watched it all before on television: “Practise hard with all the words that were given to you in the four articles and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t hear the word clearly.”