Three Pennsylvania students advanced Thursday to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington D.C.

Joanna Ye, of Carlisle; Neel Mehta of Audubon; and Sukanya Roy, of South Abington Heights are among the top 50 scorers who will compete onstage Friday afternoon in front of a live television audience on ESPN. Finalists will compete for a $30,000 cash prize and a $5,000 scholarship to be broadcast Friday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Vothom Lu, Camden's 11-year-old spelling champ, was eliminated during the third-round after stumbling on "subauditur," something understood or implied based on what is expressed.

Ye, 13, a seventh-grader at Lamberton Middle School, advanced with the correct spellings of "madeleine," a traditional French cake, and "panopticon," a circular prison. According to her Bee biography, Ye plays flute and saxophone in several school ensembles. Her favorite type of music is alternative rock, but her favorite musician is Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Mehta, 14, an eight-grader at Arcola Intermediate School near Norristown, advanced with the spellings of "plenary," meaning complete, full or absolute, and "landau," a light four-wheeled carriage. According to his Bee biography, Mehta has taken first place in the Pennsylvania Mathematics League for two years and aspires to be a scientist.

Sukanya Roy, 13, a seventh-grader at Abington Heights Middle School near Wilkes-Barre, advanced by spelling "liturgical," pertaining to liturgy or religious rituals, and "ocellated," meaning spotted or eye-shaped. Roy, who plays the violin and the piano, dreams of traveling the world some day, and wants to pursuing a career in international relations. Last year, Sukanya tied for 12th place in the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee.