He didn't win, but he worked really hard memorizing crazy words like baccalaureate, which I can't even spell without looking up. I think it stunned him when he got out, because he is a really good speller.
The word that "done him in" is weakness. An easy one. He just left the second s off, being overly cautious.
He joked that weakness was his weakness.
It's okay to lose, it just shows that you're living.
(and if you're curious, the girl pulling on her ear was the winner. The boy next to her was the runner up. They went on for litterally fifteen or more minutes, just the two of them spelling all kinds of crazy words. They totally deserved to win. They even got a standing ovation, which the principal said she's never seen at a spelling bee.)