Who thinks a spelling bee sounds like fun? Well, weirdly, I do and so do quite a few other people and, because this is London and there is anything you could ever want in London, there is one!
Jordi explained to us he quit his job to start a new events company which focused on getting people off the computer and interacting in the real world. Hence quite a few different speed dating events, and this – a Spelling Bee. But of course, this is not just any spelling bee. It’s an adult spelling bee, a bit naughty, a little off-colour. While the words themselves are ‘normal’, dare to ask Jordi to use it in a sentence and his slightly sick humour is revealed.
But in other ways it works a lot like a normal spelling bee. You go up, he gives you a word, you spell it. You can also ask for the definition and origin. Both things can be key for homonyms and harder words where the origin may lead you to realise the word is likely spelled with a ‘ph’ rather than ‘f’ for example. And of course, you can get it used in a sentence.
I crashed out spectacularly in an early round, overthinking cemetery, but it was still quite fun watching the others compete. However, there are a few tweaks that could be made to make it an even better event. Early rounds seem to lag as everyone who attends gets to compete. When there were less people in the later rounds it zipped along much better. It might be better to get people up in batches to whiz through them.
Also, there’s no denying the fact that once you’re out, or all your friends are out, you’re not as invested. There were quite a few people who left before the end because of this. Some way of getting ‘bonus rounds’ on the go that everyone can compete in through the night (maybe for prizes of a round of shots or something) would have been great to keep people engaged.
Even though I did so badly, I thought the difficulty wasn’t too taxing, and there were only a handful of words (until the end) where I did think, oh, I have no idea about that one. The final rounds when there were only a few people battling it out were quite fiendish though. To win, you not only have to be the last man standing but also get your word right. And that was not an easy feat (so there were two winners in the end). During this stage Jordi had to ensure that each contestant was given the same difficulty of word, a task on which the audience was very happy to give feedback when we thought the word was too easy via lots of jeering.
I do think he’s got a fun, and different, event here, just needs a little fine tuning!