Comparing Kimmie's personal best for PCS ONLY (US Nationals) and had she nailed all or most of her planned jump layout (3/3s included) she would have been in serious contention for the bronze medal. She won silver at Nationals with 175+ pts, but if she performed to her max at the LP, she could have scored over 180 after her SP pts included, so the bronze was within her grasp. Also, she scored 52pts in her LP TES and the highest she receieved is just over59pts at TEB.
I think it was more a case of inexperience, nerves, and near-impossible expectations of becoming the next Tara/Sara. The low PCS in comparison to the skaters who placed higher than Kimmie was as expected, considering her stiff, still-juniorish choreo. vs. the more fluid Mao (who God forbid I hope will not choose to tackle a serious, operatic piece, eg. Puccini, Bizet (Carmen), that is beyond her maturity level YET; coy, playful music is what suits her personality at the present). So the only way Kimmie would have medalled was for Irina to have performed worse than she [Irina] did, and for the judges to up her [Kimmie's] PCS in accordance with a cleanly landed full-jump layout as planned. And of course, Joannie and Fumie will need to have fallen on a jump or two in order to have ranked lower than Kimmie. So in a way Kimmie had a shot and she missed it (not blew it) by downgrading her two 3/3 combos.