Of the ten finalists, only two have not been in the Scripps National Spelling Bee before – Lanson Tang and Joanna Ye. Joanna has placed first for fiction in The Hershey Story history contest and won the Pennsylvania Art Education Association logo design contest. In addition, she has received numerous Math awards.
Lanson’s bio turned up no contests whatsoever. That may have been an oversight, but as far as I can see, this is his first contest of any significance at all. And he’s in the finals.
Good luck Lanson!