June 2, 2013


Justin Timberlake and the Great Spelling Bee of '95

Scripps National Spelling Bee
Scripps National Spelling Bee

Ever wondered what the world's most obnoxiously talented man, a.k.a Justin Timberlake's, Achilles' heel is? One Word: Wharf!

In honor of this year's competition—won by the endlessly adorbs Arvind Mahankal, in case you were wondering—the Scripps National Spelling Bee released a photo of their most famous alumnus. 

That's right, before the boyband, before all of the Grammys, before the hot-actress wife, before the explosive solo project and the subsequent focus on acting—and subsequent heralded return to music, JT was just another nerdy kid at a spelling bee. Well, a nerdy kid at a spelling bee who also happened to be a teenibopper heartthrob on the Mickey Mouse Club…but you get the point!

According Timberlake's official Scripps National Spelling Bee photo, he was a student at E.E. Jeter Elementary school where he reigned as president of the Beta Club and played basketball.

JT looks pretty darn happy in the pic, but soon his heart would be crushed as he was about lose at something for the first (and only time) in his life. 

If only he knew, in the midst of his 14-year-old misery after losing to the word "wharf," that one day he would be would reach the undisputed zenith of fame: being the subject of an aimless and meandering Kanye West rant.

Correction: This article originally stated that JT's spelling bee misadventure occurred in '05. Thanks to Julia Green for catching the typo!