Susan meets her parents in the lobby of the hotel. They each have separate rooms and check-in to them after a nice buffet lunch.
Here's the scoop on the competition: there are thirty-eight contestants in the first round. Half give their speeches in the morning, and Susan is in the second group who goes in the afternoon.
Susan advances to the next round. Easy as pie.
According to Leo, her speech is fantastic. What is even more impressive is that this is not the speech she was planning. Instead, she gives an impromptu speech that has some of the old speech in it, but is totally different, too.
In her speech, she pieces a lot of really different things together, like Barney the skull, Cinnamon, the death of the sun, a man sitting on a bench, silver lunch trucks, enchanted places, and lots of other details.
Somehow our awesome girl weaves them all together in a way that makes complete sense. The title of her speech is "I Might Have Heard a Moa." Awesome, right?
So, she moves on to the next round, and she admits to Leo that she doesn't really know what she will say yet.
That night, they have a nice dinner together and Susan dresses for the speech.
There are ten finalists to go. Each contestant gives their spiel and each receives a very enthusiastic response from the audience.
When it is Susan's turn, she is obviously at ease; she even starts with a pirouette and a curtsy, you know, just because she's feeling fancy.
The tone of her speech is conversational and casual, but people are totally riveted by it. At first, they think it's just an introduction, but then they realize that she is actually giving her competition speech.
By the end of the speech, the audience is so quiet, it is hard to tell if they are breathing or not. She ends with the words "can you hear it?" (28.21). After a long pause (they're all listening, see) the audience erupts into a boisterous explosive response of cheering, standing, clapping, and whistling from the audience. Leo sobs. Aw.